Could there be a miracle on the cards? With the Indian Premier League nothing is impossible and that will give Royal Challengers Bangalore the encouragement they need for their remaining fixtures.
It has been two contradictory tales when it comes to Delhi Capitals and RCB with the former stringing a fantastic run of results and sitting pretty on the points table, while the latter have shrugged off a poor start to give themselves a fighting chance.
Two home victories against Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab have given RCB eight points and despite being rooted to the bottom of the table, Virat Kohli’s men mathematically are still in with a chance. Their next opponents Delhi have accumulated 14 points and one more win could, more or less, see them seal their first play-off berth since 2012.
The Feroz Shah Kotla will play host on Sunday and RCB will be further boosted by the fact that Delhi don’t quite boast an intimidating record at home this season. Shreyas Iyer’s men, who have won two and lost three games at home this season, will hope to better their tally against a high-flying RCB side.
While Delhi have had their bowling unit working in unison, the same hasn’t quite been RCB’s high-point. With the likes of Kagiso Rabada spearheading Capitals’ bowling line-up, the side have strangled opponents effectively at the death. Bangalore, on the other hand, find themselves at the wrong end of the spectrum with Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj struggling to choke opponents. Their bowling woes are only set to compound after Dale Steyn was ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury.
The bowlers aren’t the only ones to blame for the Bengaluru side as they have been sloppy in the field, dropping as many as 19 catches this season, the worst among all teams. For a side that boasts fielders like Kohli and AB de Villiers, the shambolic fielding display comes as quite a surprise.
What has worked for RCB though is their batting. Kohli and de Villiers have churned out performances when needed, while Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali and Marcus Stoinis have also chipped in at crucial junctures. Their strike-rate between over 16 and 20 is a whopping 170.64 aiding them to notch some respectable totals.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Kohli and though the RCB skipper has failed in his last two outings, he has a phenomenal record at the Kotla in the IPL. Kohli’s form will be vital for RCB as they make the push towards 14 points. That said, it will not be easy for the 30-year-old as he comes face to face with a highly efficient Delhi pace battery.
Injury updates: Dale Styen will be a key absentee in the RCB ranks with Tim Southee expected to fill the void.
No glaring injury concerns for Delhi Captials.
DC: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Sherfane Rutherford/Keemo Paul, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma
RCB: Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Washington Sundar, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.