After derailing the hopes of Rajasthan Royals for a berth in play-offs, Deccan Chargers now look to spoil RCB’s party and in the process escape the ignominy of finishing at the bottom of the tables.
Following the consolation five-wicket win over Rajasthan Friday, the Chargers’ stand-in captain Cameron White made it clear that his team had the goal of finishing the tournament with a win.
Notwithstanding their comprehensive win over table-toppers Delhi Daredevils in their last match, Royal Challengers would not take any chances against Chargers, who came up with a superb bowling performance in the last match here at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to deny Rajasthan a victory in their must-win match.
Challengers would be cautious not to repeat the mistakes of Rajasthan and Kings XI Punjab, who buckled under pressure in crunch games.
With 17 points from 15 matches, Royal Challengers have to bag two points to find a place in the play-offs.
The visitors would once again rely heavily on opener Chris Gayle, the highest run scorer this IPl season so far. With 706 runs, including a hundred and seven half-centuries, Gayle has the capability of single handedly changing the course of the match.
With an unbeaten 128, including 13 sixes, he had destroyed the Daredevils bowling attack Thursday.
Skipper Virat Kohli, who returned to form in the last match with 73-run knock, will be looking to continue in the same vein. With quality players like Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB De Villiers, the Royal Challengers’ batting looks formidable.
Chargers will be wary of not just Gayle but also De Villiers, whose unbeaten 47 off just 17 balls, helped Challengers snatch the victory when the two teams met in Bangalore earlier in the competition.
With the experienced Zaheer Khan and Muralitharan, and the talented Vinay Kumar in their bowling line-up, Royal Challengers are also capable of defending any score.
The hosts may be already out of the tournament but they would be keen to sign off with a victory. With seven points from 15 matches, Chargers are languishing at the bottom of the table.
Chargers would again be relying on Shikhar Dhawan (564 runs) and Cameron White (478), the second and the sixth highest run scorers this season.
White may again lead the team as Kumar Sangakkara may opt out due to his poor batting display. The local boy Akshath Reddy, who scored 42 against Rajasthan, wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and J.P. Duminy have the potential to make useful contributions.
The hosts would be hoping a repeat of their bowling performance. Steyn and Amit Mishtra had restricted Rajasthan to their lowest total.