Royal Challengers Bangalore will hope to keep themselves in the reckoning for the playoffs when they take on the league leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 17. This 51st fixture of the IPL 2018 will be played at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Live action is scheduled to begin at 8 PM local time.
RCB vs SRH: Where to Watch/Live Streaming
TV channels: Star Sports, Sky Sports, Fox Sports, OSN Sports Cricket HD
The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium has so far hosted six matches this IPL of which four have been won by the side that has fielded first. And also keeping the dew factor in mind, the toss-winning skipper would be tempted to chase.
Sarfaraz Khan was brought in place of Manan Vohra to provide some stability in the middle order. He scored 11 against the Delhi Daredevils and did not get an opportunity to bat in the last game against Kings XI Punjab. So Virat Kohli might give him another go here and the team may not tweak the current combination that won them the last two games.
Skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have been the backbone of the franchise's batting in each IPL season. Kohli, the team's leading run-scorer, has impressive scores of 39, 70 and 48* in the last three games while de Villiers has a strike rate of 178.10. Parthiv Patel has also chipped in on a few occasions. Moeen Ali has not had much opportunity so far but he is a key man in this line-up and so is Colin de Grandhomme due to his ability to clear the fence with ease as well as making notable contributions with the ball. Umesh Yadav has clearly been the pick of the bowlers. With 17 wickets in 12 matches, the paceman is among the season's top five bowlers and RCB will hope that he is able to replicate his performance from the last game. SRH batsmen will also be wary of Mohammed Siraj and Tim Southee who took three wickets apiece against them at Hyderabad.
Royal Challengers Bangalore seem to be peaking at the right time. Back-to-back wins against the Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab have brought them back in the race for the playoffs. They now have five wins and seven losses from twelve league matches and are placed seventh in the standings with 10 points. RCB have shown a lot of improvement with the ball. They restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad in the reverse fixture to 146 and then wrapped up the Kings XI Punjab for just 88 in their last game at Indore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Predicted Playing 11
Parthiv Patel (wk), Moeen Ali, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Sunrisers Hyderabad have a couple of injury concerns ahead of their tie against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Wriddhiman Saha has missed the last two games as he is yet to recover from his shoulder injury. Shreevats Goswami has been keeping wickets in his absence and he could make way for Saha in the playing eleven if he gets fit in time. Yusuf Pathan sat out the last game against the Chennai Super Kings due to soreness and will replace Deepak Hooda if he is declared fit for this match.
Kane Williamson has been in phenomenal touch in IPL 2018. The skipper has smashed seven half-centuries so far, including one in each of his last three innings, and is looking hungry for more. Shikhar Dhawan has scored 92* and 79 in the last two games and he too looks in threatening form. Manish Pandey and Alex Hales are two other batsmen in this line-up who can be destructive on their day. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar holds the key to the Sunrisers' pace attack, Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan have been the go-to options when it comes to spin. Rashid has taken the most wickets for the team and he is likely to finish with economical figures in this match.
Sunrisers Hyderabad's six-game winning streak was brought to an end when they faced an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings in their last fixture. They have already sealed their spot in the playoffs and RCB's win against Kings XI Punjab has guaranteed a top two finish for them at the end of the league stage. SRH are sitting comfortably at the pole position having won nine out of twelve games and with 18 points in the bag.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Predicted Playing 11
Shikhar Dhawan, Alex Hales, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda/Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Shreevats Goswami/ Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
RCB : W W L L W
SRH : L W W W W
RCB vs SRH Head to Head
RCB vs SRH Head to Head
Sunrisers Hyderabad have won six while Royal Challengers Bangalore have won four out of the eleven matches played between them in the Indian Premier League. The two teams have been involved in a tied game just once.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have not been able to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad even once in their last four completed attempts. They lost both their fixtures against SRH in the 2016 season.
When the two teams faced-off earlier this season at Hyderabad, Sunrisers Hyderabad defended their total of 146 in a low-scoring thriller to win by five runs.
Total Matches: 11; Royal Challengers Bangalore Won: 4; Sunrisers Hyderabad Won: 6; Tie: 1
RCB vs SRH Betting Odds
Royal Challengers Bangalore are playing at home. They have won three and lost as many from the six matches they have played at the M. Chinnaswamy. The hosts begin as favorites amongst the bookmakers to win this match at odds of 1.75 on Betway, 1.80 on Bet365 and 1.82 on Betfair. Sunrisers Hyderabad, despite having won six of their last seven fixtures, find themselves as the underdogs at slightly higher odds of 1.95 on Betway, 2 on Bet365 and 2.16 on Betfair.
Bangalore vs Hyderabad Prediction
Sunrisers Hyderabad have been the 'team to beat' in this year's IPL. They have been clinical in most of their matches and their batsmen and bowlers have backed each other very well which has been the main reason behind their success. However, having already made it through to the playoffs and with the assurance of a top two finish, captain Williamson may be tempted to experiment with the team combination and try to do something different from usual before the tournament enters the business end. Now this should work in favor of RCB who will be looking to maximise any opportunities presented to them. Royal Challengers Bangalore have beaten Sunrisers Hyderabad three times out of five at this venue which should give them plenty of confidence going into this game. So although SRH have been the superior of the two sides, we feel that they might be a little complacent this time around.
Final Verdict: Back Royal Challengers Bangalore to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad at 1.75 on Betway, 1.80 on Bet365 and 1.82 on Betfair.