In a high stakes encounter in the Indian Premier League, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) takes on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad tonight. A defeat will clearly put the playoffs hopes of the loser in jeopardy. The winner, on the other hand, can breathe easily too.
Just four matches remaining after this one – each team will play one more match. SRH has 14 points, while RCB has 13 points. If SRH wins this match, they will be through. If that happens, RCB too can qualify provided Kolkata Knight Riders wins against Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers defeat Mumbai Indians in their last matches and of course they defeat Delhi Daredevils. They do not want to leave their fate to others.
If RCB wins this match, they will be a great position to qualify. They play against Delhi Daredevils in their last league match. Sunrisers can still qualify, even if they lose this match, provided they beat Mumbai Indians in the final league match.
Preview – SRH
The Hyderabad team has won five of the last six matches. Their batting’s over-dependence on David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan is now a thing of the past. Moises Henriques and Eoin Morgan have emerged as dependable middle order batters. Bowling too has depth and variety. They probably have the best death bowling combination in the fray. The fate of the match will be decided by how well Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar bowl to the marauding top three of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the opposition.
Preview – RCB
RCB has more star power – in batting as well as in bowling. However, they do not have the depth of SRH. Still, if their star batsmen get going or if Mitchell Starc has a terrific day with the ball, the match will be decided then and there. RCB looks unbeatable when their talismanic players are on song. They struggle against any team that manages to neutralize their stars.
The only safe prediction regarding both the teams is this: the team that bats first is going to win. Both the teams love to set targets and defend. Toss is going to be crucial. Still, given the quality in their ranks, RCB does have a slight advantage.