With the second half of the IPL 2017 season upon us, the race for securing those coveted play-off spots is heating up. While Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) have won four matches and stand a solid chance of reaching the knockouts if they can continue their resurgence, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are hanging by the skin of their teeth to remain in contention.
As another loss will bring the curtains down on their challenge, Virat Kohli and his troops could find themselves under immense pressure. The clash between these two teams on Saturday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium promises to an entertaining affair.
Here are five factors which could go a long way in influencing the match.
#5 With the bat
Not many would have known about Rahul Tripathi before this season started. However, the right-hander has been a revelation of sorts at the top of the order for RPS. With five consecutive 30-plus scores, he is on a roll at the moment.
If the 26-year old continues his merry run, the foundation will be set for the explosive finishers such as MS Dhoni. The veteran is gradually getting into the groove and will be looking to flex his muscles in the death overs.
For the Royal Challengers, the onus will be on skipper Kohli to lead from the front and build partnerships with the other experienced batsmen. Even if the pitch offers something for the seamers, they simply cannot afford another top-order collapse.