Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), just a whisker away from sealing a playoff berth, are set to lock horns with SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) at a mouth-watering wicket at Sharjah which is expected to roll out a high-scoring thriller.
The on-going IPL 2020 is nearing its culmination but the only franchise which has qualified for playoffs so far is Mumbai Indians (MI). Talking about the current scenario, RCB and SRH are on different tangents. While Kohli's men need just one victory to cruise near their maiden IPL trophy, the Orange Army requires two victories to leave it to luck to achieve a top-four finish.
Vying for their first IPL title, RCB are currently sitting second in the points table with 14 points. SRH, on the other hand, are languishing at the seventh spot with just 10 points.
RCB might've an upper hand before coming into this encounter but SRH's recent victory over Delhi Capitals have undoubtedly boosted their morale. Everything was perfect about the performance of Warner's men against a robust Delhi side.
SRH's top-order, led by skipper Warner and Wriddhiman Saha, propelled them to a flying start as they posted a colossal 219-run total on the board. In response, DC's batting unit succumbed to Rashid Khan's masterclass. The leg-spinner's variations baffled DC batsmen as he registered 3/7 while steering his side to the triumph.
SRH will be expecting the likes of Warner, Saha and Rashid to deliver a similar performance against RCB. Leading his side from the front, Warner has slammed 436 runs in 12 matches at an average of 39.64.
Saha might've played just two games this season but he's been impressive in both. The wicketkeeper-batsman has scored 117 runs in two matches including a half-century. Talking about Rashid, he has plucked 17 wickets in 12 games this year. After losing Bhuvneshwar Kumar early in the season, the likes of T Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma have notched up their performances.
However, SRH will be missing the services of all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who has been ruled out of the tournament owing to a hamstring injury. SRH's voyage of this year has been plagued with injuries to several players.
Talking about RCB, the Bangalore side will be hoping for a 'Virat Kohli Show'. Like Warner, Kohli has also been phenomenal with the bat while leading his side. The Indian skipper has so far scored 424 runs in 12 matches at an average of 53.
Apart from Kohli, youngster Devdutt Padikkal has impressed everyone with his consistent performances at the top. The Karnataka lad has 417 runs to his name in 12 matches. Despite the form of Padikkal and Kohli, RCB need to conceal their batting flaws. Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, and Gurkeerat Mann are yet to deliver a strong batting performance in the middle.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar have been RCB's two standout performers with the ball. Mohammed Siraj has also been in good touch in recent games but the likes of Morris and Dale Steyn have failed to rise to the occasion. To seal playoffs berth, RCB bowling unit will have to deliver a match-winning performance at Sharjah.
Dream11 Playing XI: Devdutt Padikkal, David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Abdul Samad, Washington Sundar, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal