The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Friday (November 6) in the Eliminator of IPL 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The two teams have had a contrasting end to the cash-rich T20 league stage competition.
Recently, Hyderabad defeated Mumbai by 10 wickets – and registered their third consecutive victory. On the other hand, Bangalore lost to Delhi and are on a four-match losing streak going into the playoffs. The two teams met each other in the 2016 IPL final, where David Warner-led SRH to their maiden title.
David Warner and management made a bold decision to drop Jonny Bairstow to accommodate Kane Williamson and strengthen the fragile middle-order. Wriddhiman Saha came in as an opener and has vindicated the move with two half-centuries in three games. Warner himself is once again amongst runs scoring 529 in the league stage.
The trio of Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Jason Holder gives solidity to the middle-order, and that has allowed Warner to bat with freedom in the last three games.
The SRH bowling department was always their strength. Batters this season have struggled against the swing of Sandeep Sharma in the powerplay and yorkers from T Natarajan in the death. Rashid Khan hardly has a bad day in T20 cricket and was well supported by Shahbaz Nadeem.
Bangalore might have made into the playoffs overtaking Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). However, not all is well for the Kohli-led outfit. For a change, their bowlers are not a let down this season. In fact, it is their batting that has struggled to score runs quickly and has to be bailed out time and again by AB de Villiers.
Virat Kohli’s strike rate of 122 is concerning, and the skipper has been over-cautious in the middle-overs. RCB has found it difficult to finish the inning whenever De Villiers wasn’t around.
There is still no confirmation on Navdeep Saini’s availability for the playoff against Hyderabad. While Mohammed Siraj and Chris Morris has done exceedingly well this season, RCB’s other overseas pacer – Dale Steyn and Isuru Udana – have leaked runs heavily. The bowling relies largely on the success of Yuzvendra Chahal.
IPL 2020, Eliminator: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – Match Prediction
While RCB just pipped KKR on the net run rate to remain in the top four, SRH, on the other stormed into the playoffs with three consecutive victories. SRH’s batting is looking solid with the inclusion of Williamson and Holder, and RCB’s bowling is almost a one-man show.
David Warner and his team were in a similar position in 2016 where they won three consecutive playoff matches to clinch the title. Barring an individual brilliance from any RCB player like AB and Chahal, or if the skipper himself steps up to the occasion, SRH should go past this hurdle. The prediction is for Hyderabad to win and move into Qualifier 2.