Sunrisers Hyderabad didn't do themselves any favor by losing their previous contest by a small margin to Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede with the match being in their control. What their previous result means is that they must win tonight against RCB to seal a playoffs spot.
They have had a sporadic campaign with all the limelight being hogged by Jonny Bairstow and David Warner, and rightly so. They have been tremendously influential in SRH's successes this season thus far and their absence can be visibly felt.
The biggest positives in the last few games has been how well Manish Pandey has owned the No. 3 position and also the all-round skills of Mohammad Nabi. Keeping in mind the disastrous campaign for Kane Williamson this year, SRH should consider pushing Nabi up the order.
On the other hand, facing them is Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore. Any chance and slim at that, of making it to the playoffs completely vanished after the no result against Rajasthan Royals. A team that has embraced the 'play happy' attitude in their past few games have performed better compared to their disrupted start.
Parthiv Patel, Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal have been constant contributors apart from the usual faces of Kohli and AB de Villiers. It's good to see the franchise playing freely without burdening themselves.
They will be winding up their IPL 2019 campaign in front of their ardent and loyal fans who have stood by them even after another season ending in bitter disappointment and sadness. It is only fair that they put on a complete team performance that will please the fans expected to throng the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Key players to watch out for:
AB de Villiers
This would be the last time one would get to see 'Mr 360' bat in the RCB colors in IPL 2019. And with him having retired from all forms of international cricket, this is the last game we can get to witness his overall brilliance for sometime.
AB de Villiers has had a pretty good time coming in at No. 3 this year as opposed to his usual No. 4 slot for RCB. He has had his troubles against leg-spin with Shreyas Gopal getting him out twice this year, but overall there hasn't been any obivious misgivings that has affected his game.
He has managed to score 441 runs in 13 games at a very impressive strike-rate of 154.73 thus far. He would want to sign out on a high and all of us watching would hope he puts on a batting display worth remembering and cherishing.
Manish Pandey has found a new lease of life after he was sent into bat at No. 3 four games back. SRH's batting this year has completely revovled around David Warner (692 runs) and Jonny Bairstow (445 runs). The middle-order has been exposed and the only one to come out on tops has been Pandey.
After a poor start to this year's IPL, he was drafted back into the team at the No. 3 spot and he has found his mojo both against fast bowlers and spinners. His controlled aggression is a huge boost for SRH and they would want him to continue this golden run of form on his homecoming.
Considering the fact they are playing in front of their loyal fans and also with them not having any pressure to make it to the playoffs, RCB should be considered as favorites to win this game.
SRH have had a very inconsistent campaign and have stumbled far too many time for their liking. RCB can play party spoilers and win tonight's southern derby at Bengaluru.