Despite spending more than half of IPL 2020 as one of the teams in the top three positions on the points table, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) still needed to depend on mathematical formulas and Net Run Rate to make the playoffs.
And Virat Kohli's men did seal the fourth spot on the IPL 2020 points table even though they lost their last league stage encounter against the Delhi Capitals (DC), huffing and puffing their way past the finish line in the end.
While RCB will walk into this game with their confidence having taken a hit on the back of four consecutive losses, their opponents in today's IPL 2020 Eliminator, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), have a whole lot of momentum on their side.
At one stage, it seemed as if SRH would be one among the four teams to fly out of UAE early, but some late resurgence saw them nail down the third spot on the IPL 2020 points table.
Courtesy of a hat-trick of wins to culminate their league stage campaign on a high, David Warner's men couldn't have found a better time to get their ducks in a row.
One among the three teams they beat was Kohli's RCB in Sharjah, and with both sides having registered a win each against each other in IPL 2020, this Hyderabad v Bangalore IPL 2020 Eliminator promises to be a mouth-watering encounter.
IPL 2020: SRH v RCB Match Prediction
Over the course of the last one week in IPL 2020, the Sunrisers have hardly put a foot wrong. Big wins against the Delhi Capitals (88 runs) and Mumbai Indians (10 wickets) have infused a new level of confidence in the SRH camp, and Warner's men now look like world-beaters ahead of the IPL 2020 playoffs.
On the other side of the fence, RCB's campaign seems to be falling into pieces, and Kohli will be a worried man only hours after celebrating his 32nd birthday.
Needing just one win to seal the top-two spot and a berth in Qualifier 1, RCB failed to get across the line in four consecutive matches, forcing them to remain content with a fourth-place finish on the points table.
And for RCB to find a solution to arrest this losing streak, they will need to address the gaping holes in the line-up. The openers' inability to step on the pedal inside the powerplay overs, and the lack of quality batting resources in the middle order have hurt the Challengers in their last few games.
Chris Morris limping off mid-way through RCB's last league stage encounter certainly isn't an encouraging sign for Kohli, while there's still a question mark over Navdeep Saini's return to full fitness.
As for SRH, Wriddhiman Saha's inclusion at the top of the order has worked wonders for Hyderabad, and the Warner-Saha opening combination will yet again be in focus.
And yet, in a team that boasts of stars such as Warner, Kane Willamson, Rashid Khan among others, performances from the likes of Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem and T Natarajan have completely flown under the radar.
While Rashid leads the wicket-takers' charts for SRH, Natarajan (14 wickets from 14 matches) and Sandeep (13 wickets from 11 matches) aren't too far behind. With Nadeem joining the party courtesy of a Man of the Match performance (2/19 v MI) in their previous game, the SRH bowling unit looks in fine shape.
In the most recent encounter between these two sides, the SRH bowlers completely dominated the proceedings to restrict RCB to just 120/7 at Sharjah, before they scaled down the target in just 14.1 overs.
While past results can all be discarded with the knockouts posing a different challenge altogether, RCB's unsettling performances and inconsistency could prove to be their downfall today.
Prediction: SRH to win today.Published 06 Nov 2020, 10:36 IST