Cap­tains in spot­light as Ban­ga­lore take on Hy­der­abad

Sport360 - - Ipl 2018 - By Ashish Pe­ter @ashish_peter284 edi­to­rial@sport360.com

Thurs­day’s IPL clash be­tween Royal Chal­lengers Ban­ga­lore and Sun­ris­ers Hy­der­abad will be cru­cial to both sides for con­trast­ing rea­sons.

For league-lead­ers Sun­ris­ers, it will be an op­por­tu­nity to fine-tune their prepa­ra­tions for the play­offs for which they have al­ready qual­i­fied. With 18 points from 12 matches, Kane Williamson’s men are bound to fin­ish among the top two teams, which means that they will get two bites of the cherry if needed to make it to the sum­mit clash.

Royal Chal­lengers, on the other hand, are in a five-way race for the two spots in the elim­i­na­tor and need to win both their re­main­ing fix­tures to stand a chance.

Mo­men­tum with RCB

Vi­rat Kohli’s men are still lan­guish­ing in the sec­ond-last spot in the league table but they will be the in­form side when they take the field against the Sun­ris­ers. The Royal Chal­lengers have won their last two matches in im­pres­sive style with Kohli and AB de Vil­liers fir­ing on all cylin­ders.

And although Hy­der­abad have been the team of the tour­na­ment so far, their run of five suc­ces­sive wins was brought to a grind­ing half by Chen­nai Su­per Kings, the team they will in all prob­a­bil­ity face in the first Qual­i­fier in the play­offs.

Skip­pers lead the way

Both sides have skip­pers who have led the way with the bat. For Ban­ga­lore, Kohli has been the stand­out bats­man once again af­ter notch­ing up 511 runs so far at an average of 57.11.

Williamson’s maiden stint as Sun­ris­ers skip­per has been equally im­pres­sive, if not more. While his tac­ti­cal acu­men has been su­perb, his form with the bat has been in re­moved spir­ing as well with 544 runs in 12 matches at an as­ton­ish­ing average of 60.44.

Both the cap­tains will be key for their re­spec­tive sides once again at the Chin­naswamy Sta­dium in Ben­galuru come Thurs­day.

The pres­sure is on: RCB’s Vi­rat Kohli.

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