It’s going to be a tough game to call with Royal Challengers Bangalore on the prowl, having won their last two games and Sunrisers Hyderabad already in, with just the top place to play for in IPL 2018. When they last played, Hyderabad beat Bangalore by 5 runs but the latter dominated that game right from start to the end… Almost end. Now, RCB have a chance of bettering their result from the reverse fixture, at home.
By winning their last two games, Bangalore won consecutive matches in the Indian Premier League for the first time since their late charge in IPL 2016. Surely, they will be looking to repeat that performance but they are up against Hyderabad, and they will be hoping that the latter are a little complacent after qualifying or a little low on morale after their last loss to Chennai.
RCB’s last game not only displayed their batting and bowling prowess but it also showed a bit of hunger in the team, especially in captain Virat Kohli. He knew there was a job to be done and he came out to open the innings to win that last game, after his bowlers knocked off Punjab’s 10 wickets for 88. Kohli and AB de Villiers are the only two RCB batsmen in the top 25 of the Orange Cap list and that seems to be the only issue for a charged up RCB team at the moment.
The first half of IPL 2018 indicated RCB’s bowling weakness but the way Umesh Yadav and the rest of the pacers blew away KXIP in the last game showed that they have wicket taking options as well. Talking about bowling, they are up against the best bowlers in the league, with the likes of Rashid, Bhuvi, and others. However, the RCB batsmen should learn from the way the CSK and DD batsmen played the Hyderabad bowlers. Put them under pressure early and take the yorkers out of the equation in the death overs, with innovative shot-making.
Hyderabad is topping the table yes, but how strong is their batting? Hales, Williamson and Dhawan is all they have with the bat and RCB will be targetting these three big fish and will try to bundle out Hyderabad for little of nothing. Dhawan has two consecutive fifties while Williamson has over 500 runs in IPL 2018. This run scoring, along with good captaincy, has helped Hyderabad not feel the absence of David Warner in the team!
Hyderabad leads the H2H count between the two teams, 7-4. Their last five encounters in the Indian Premier League have also been won by SRH but I’m backing Bangalore to win this one only because of they hunger they displayed in the last game. Expect them to get a win and stay alive this season!