IPL 2020: Sunrisers look to thwart RCB top guns
The top two spots in the points table are terribly important as they provide two opportunities to reach the final
After a super run of victories, Royal Challengers Bangalore had their momentum broken so badly that they come into this match on the back of three consecutive defeats.
While they are still no.2 in the points table, and a place in the playoffs seems a formality, finishing no. 1 or 2 could prove to be difficult if they lose to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The top two spots in the points table are terribly important as they provide two opportunities to reach the final. Serious jostling for places in the playoffs between seven teams has added to the pressure.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s defeats in the previous two games have surprisingly shown up a chink in the batting, otherwise thought to be their strength. Even more surprisingly, this involves the team’s two best batsmen, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
Performances through the season have shown that if both these star players click and make substantial contributions, Royal Challengers Bangalore win easily. If only one of them clicks, it has to be big time. If both are dismissed for modest scores, the team totter.
Opposing teams have sensed this and tried to prevent these two from scoring freely in the middle overs, hoping for high risks from them which could result in them getting dismissed, and not being there for the final assault.
This is what happened in both of their previous defeats, and led to Royal Challengers Bangalore falling 20-25 runs short, which can be a big chunk in this format.
Even the bowling, which has been excellent with Yuzvendra Chahal and Chris Morris in top form, couldn’t help salvage the situation as is evident from the fact that Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost three matches defending.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, got a lifeline to stay alive in the tournament when they beat fancied Delhi Capitals in the previous match.
In fact, they handed out a thrashing to Delhi Capitals, with David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha in roaring form as openers, which wouldn’t have been lost on Kohli.
While Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting has its limitations in the middle and lower order, the bowling’s been exceptional. Rashid Khan has picked up seven wickets in his last five matches and remains the League’s most economical bowler.
Jason Holder gives the attack much needed experience, and Thangarasu Natarajan has been a revelation in the death overs with his bang-on-target yorkers.
Ayaz Memon is an Indian sports writer and commentator
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