The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are up against ‘traditional rivals’ the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Match 25 of IPL 2020. And having played 5 and 6 games in the tournament respectively, the former somehow find themselves ahead of the latter in the IPL 2020 points table.
With three wins in five matches, this is RCB’s best start in 7 years. That, however, was still not enough to place them in the top 4 on the table. A win against CSK could change all that. Provided results go their way elsewhere, a win could take RCB to third spot, and in playoff places, at least temporarily.
The biggest hurdle for the Bangalore franchise to overcome in the coming weeks is their more-than-disappointing net run rate. Although they have lost only two games so far, both defeats have been among the heaviest handed to any team in the tournament so far.
A big win here would go a long way in helping RCB in their cause. That said, a 15-8 head-to-head record in favour of CSK does nothing to flatter Virat Kohli’s men. Even with the wretched form that the Super Kings of Chennai finds themselves in, beating them is never a certainty.
The MS Dhoni-led franchise have somehow won only two of their first six games. In sharp contrast to their Bangalorean counterparts, CSK are having their worst start to an IPL season since time immemorial. Yet, they somehow find themselves only two points behind RCB.
In a fixture that neither team likes to lose, and with a place in the top 4 potentially on the cards, a victory here could be worth the captains’ weight in gold. The RCB v CSK match has all the makings of a cracker of a contest.
IPL 2020: CSK v RCB Match Prediction
On the red end of things, the Royal Challengers’ batting unit have seemed to be in their element, apart from the two defeats. Three half-centuries for Devdutt Padikkal has seen him light up his debut IPL season so far.
Add to that, a couple of half-centuries for AB de Villiers, who has now taken over keeping duties, and the return to form of skipper Virat Kohli, and RCB’s batting order looks to be well in place.
While Kohli’s form in the first three games were a cause for worry, the Indian captain seems to have turned his form around in the last couple of games. A half-century in the game against Rajasthan Royals saw RCB chase down 155 with relative ease. Against the Delhi Capitals, Kohli was the only player to make a score of note as the Bangalore franchise went down by 59 runs.
Although bowling has always been for the men in red, Yuzvendra Chahal’s consistency, and some good fast bowling from Navdeep Saini have been positives. With Isuru Udana also among the wickets, and the potential return of Chris Morris in this game, RCB could possibly see their best all-round performance yet.
MS Dhoni’s CSK, on the other hand, seem to be struggling. And while a victory is never out of sight for a team that is so used to winning, they have been on the wrong end of the result quite a lot this season.
The team from Tamil Nadu will want to turn things around in order to make a surge up the table sooner rather than later. More so for skipper Dhoni and out-of-form batsman Kedar Jadhav, who have been trolled quite mercilessly on the internet following their defeat to the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Super Kings’ playing XI for the fixture could see quite a few toss-ups, and Imran Tahir being brought into the side is one that could cause problems for the Royal Challengers. The IPL 2019 Purple Cap winner will be itching to have a go after being sidelined for most of the first half of the league phase.
All said and done, one can expect RCB to return to winning ways with this fixture given the way these two teams have started the tournament.
Prediction: RCB to win today’s match.Published 10 Oct 2020, 12:43 IST