Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to secure one of the four berths for the play-offs when they take on Delhi Daredevils in match number 55 of the Indian Premier League season eight at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. RCB stayed alive in the tournament thanks to a brilliant batting display against Sunrisers Hyderabad, in which they chased down 81 in 6 overs. They would thus be buoyant as they look to clinch another much-needed victory. Delhi, on the other hand, may have been knocked out, but they will be pleased with the shock upset over Chennai, and would be keen to finish off on a high.
Match: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils, 55th T20 at Bangalore
Time: Match begins at 4 PM IST | 10:30 GMT
Toss: Royal Challengers Bangalore, who chose to bowl first
A lot cannot be read into the triumph against Sunrisers Hyderabad. They had only six overs to face, and it really was a no-loss situation for them. Still, Bangalore should be extremely pleased in the manner that things panned out for them. Chris Gayle played some smashing shots right from the word go, and his blazing form will please Bangalore no end, apart from giving nightmares to the opposition. The performance of Virat Kohli was equally brilliant. Once Gayle fell in the chase, Bangalore needed Kohli to carry on. And, the fact that the skipper held on and took the please past the finish line was a massive boost for the side.
Apart from Gayle and Kohli, AB de Villiers is the other key batsman in the Bangalore squad. He may have failed against Hyderabad, but that was only because Bangalore needed runs off every ball. De Villiers has been in great form during this season, hitting his peak against Mumbai Indians. It was a knock in which he made decent international bowlers look completely like novices. Bangalore would also hope Mandeep Singh would get among the runs in case he is called in to bat. Against Kolkata, he was the one who had taken Bangalore past the finish line. In the bowling, they will continue to look up to lead bowler Mitchell Starc.
As mentioned above, although they have been knocked out, Delhi still have pride to play for. Finishing off the season with a couple of wins would make them feel much better. Their bowling was brilliant in the match against Chennai Super Kings, with one man Zaheer Khan standing out, bowling a majority of dot balls. Delhi have been a much more potent outfit ever since the veteran left-am pacer has started featuring in the eleven. His spell against Chennai was exceptional in every sense. T20 may still be viewed predominantly as a youngsters' game, but with their success in this edition, Zaheer and Brad Hogg have reiterated that age can, sometimes, be just a number.
Coming back to Delhi's performance, Shreyas Iyer has been one of the standouts for the franchise this season. He was the batting hero in the win against Chennai as well. Iyer would thus be keen to finish off on a high. As will Yuvraj Singh, who has had an extremely disappointing series, after being chosen as the most expensive player during this year's auction. With his poor show, Yuvraj has perhaps demonstrated that he is well past his prime and that, like Sehwag, Zaheer and Harbhajan, he might never play for India again. At the same time, Yuvraj would want to, at least, finish with a flourish.
--By A Cricket Analyst