RCB eye win against formidable DC before heading into play-offs

Dubai, Oct 07 (PTI): Assured of a play-off berth, Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to quickly recover from their loss in the previous game and finish the league phase on a high when they take on table-toppers Delhi Capitals in their final IPL round-robin game here on Friday.
While the Delhi side (20 points from 13 matches) has made sure of a top-two finish, a defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday night has dented RCB’s chances of ending second in the points table.
With 16 points and an inferior net run-rate to second-placed Chennai Super Kings, RCB’s hopes of a top-two finish has reduced after losing to SRH.
Skipper Virat Kohli, however, will keep an eye on the result of the CSK-Punjab Kings match on Thursday to get a clear idea about how to go about in their final match to snatch the second spot, which appears a tough task to say the least.
Despite possessing a formidable batting line-up that includes AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal apart from Kohli, RCB couldn’t chase down a below-par 141-7 against SRH and they would need to sort out their batting before entering the knockout stage.
Maxwell has been in scintillating form for RCB after a moderate run in 2020 and can turn things around single-handedly as can de Villiers.
The Australian power-hitter has 447 runs with five 50s and will want to continue the good run, while de Villiers hasn’t quite had the impact he would have liked to.
If Kohli can get off to a strong start at the top alongside the impressive Padikkal, the powerful middle-order can do a lot of damage.
RCB’s bowling unit too have done well with the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel and George Garton doing the job in the pace department.
In spin department, Yuzvendra Chahal has overcome his past struggles with some very impressive spells this season, while Shahbaz Ahmed too has kept things in check for his team.
The Rishabh Pant-led Delhi team, on the other hand, has been in formidable form, winning four of the last five matches and will look to end things on a high in the league phase before going into the qualifier.
Skipper Pant has come in for criticism for being over-aggressive and it has to be seen if he shows a sense of restraint and makes bigger contributions.

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