The two teams who have already made it to the playoffs will face off in the final league game of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) suffered a loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) which has made their task of finishing in the top-two a bit difficult. RCB’s negative net run rate is also not helping their cause. However, with CSK also losing their game against PBKS, they still have a chance to grab the second spot if they can pull off a big win over the table toppers.
After some terrific performances in the UAE leg of the IPL, RCB slipped and lost to SRH by four runs. The management’s decision to send AB de Villiers at number six was debatable as the batter got to play just 13 balls. Even Devdutt Padikkal played slow innings and consumed 52 balls for his 41 runs. Barring Glenn Maxwell, the remaining batters struggled to score briskly against SRH bowlers.
For the Capitals, things are looking as bright as ever. Their bowling and batting have clicked in unison and several players are stepping up in the UAE leg. The only worry for the management would be the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw at the top. The duo have not looked at their best in the UAE leg of the IPL. Also, Shreyas Iyer has lacked some support in the middle order, with skipper Rishabh Pant blowing hot and cold.
Dubai will host the last league match of this year's IPL. Of all the three pitches, the Dubai one has been more sportive with nice carry and bounce. Chasing has been preferred and both Kohli and Pant might to do the same after winning the toss.
Predicted Playing XI
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, KS Bharat, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dan Christian, George Garton, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj.
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (captain, wicketkeeper), Ripal Patel, R Ashwin, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan.
The Enigma of the IPL, Glenn Maxwell has finally arrived by displaying a fearless brand of cricket for RCB. A bit of clarity in the role has given the right-hand batter the freedom to express himself. So far, he has scored 447 runs and has ably led RCB’s batting order.
DC's most reliable batter this season, Shreyas Iyer has hardly put a foot wrong since coming back from the shoulder injury. The right-hand batter has been calm under run-chases and also calculative at playing his strokes. His 30s and 40s have been effective in DC winning few close games this season.