Captains in spotlight as Bangalore take on Hyderabad
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.