Royal Challengers Bangalore's fight to remain in contention for the play-off rounds of the Indian Premier League will face the ultimate test on Thursday as Virat Kohli's men host table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have already procured their tickets to the advanced stages of the competition.
RCB knew that had to make quick work out of their run chase since they had a flawless opportunity to gain some ground with the net run rate as openers Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli reached their target in less than nine overs. Umesh Yadav's menacing 3 for 23 helped the side put up their most dominating performance with the ball as RCB skittled KXIP out for just 88 in 15.1 overs.
The consecutive victories over Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab have revived RCB's hopes, while SRH has been on a roll, having won nine matches out of 12.
The bowling has lifted itself in a do-or-die scenario with Umesh Yadav providing the fire that totally singed Punjab the other night. Both Patel and Kohli returned back not out for 40 and 48 respectively, after winning the match.
SRH would however be concerned about how their bowlers slipped up in the last two matches. As Virat Kohli called the flip of the coin right and opted to chase, his choice of words after that was quite interesting. De Villiers (358 runs) is next to him, although he has played two games less than the Indian. With 10 points from 12 matches, RCB's hopes are hanging by the most slender of threads, and with the threat of rain looming, not even one shared point would be good. However, it shouldn't be a surprise if it favour the batsmen as we get a high scoring game. "We've got to try and make sure we lift ourselves". They might have looked decent of late, but it might be a little too late, because both Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab are ahead of the Challengers on the table. With the job done, they could have rested some and given chances to other players, but head coach Tom Moody is not keen on many changes.