Two teams whose fortunes, contrary to history, seems to have interchanged in the IPL 2020 season, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings will clash versus each other in Dubai on Sunday. With a win on Sunday, Kohli’s RCB can officially knock the Super Kings out of IPL 2020.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - W W L
Not many gave RCB a chance prior to the season, but under newly-appointed coach Simon Katich, the team has done wonders. For the first time perhaps in their history, the Royal Challengers have looked like a well-balanced, well-oiled unit and the same has reflected in their results, with them having notched up 7 wins in their 10 games, level on points with DC and MI. In their previous encounter, the RCB bowlers reduced KKR to ashes, and so after watching CSK’s outing in Sharjah on Friday, the Reds will be licking their lips heading into Sunday’s clash.
Chennai Super Kings - L L L
There are thrashings, there are humiliations and then there’s what CSK endured in Sharjah versus Mumbai Indians. In what was the most soulless, uninspiring performance in the club’s 12-year history, CSK slumped to a 10 wicket defeat to ensure they got one stop closer to elimination. For the second game running, their batting faltered incomprehensibly and there was little to cheer for on the bowling front, too, as the MI batsmen hit everything that came their way out of oblivion. CSK will enter Sunday’s clash beaten, bruised, battered and broken.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Virat Kohli
The 90* versus CSK earlier in the season was a watershed moment for RCB skipper Virat Kohli who has, since, not looked back. While in the last game versus KKR, he had little to do, the confident demeanor in Kohli’s batting was evident from his urgency. So much so that despite RCB needing 1 run to win, he ran two to give a subtle reminder that he is hungry for runs. That extra run he ran did not reflect on the scorecard, but it might very well be a sign of things to come on Sunday, as Kolhi, for the second time this season, will be eager to inflict “death by running” on CSK.
Chennai Super Kings - Sam Curran
That we’re touting Sam Curran as CSK’s ‘key batsman’ should tell you everything about their woes this season. After his ‘opener’ experiment went terribly wrong, Curran was demoted back to No.7 on Friday and he found comfort in his old position as walking into bat at 21/5, he struck a well-compiled half-century to take CSK to a respectable score. His 173 runs this season have all come at crucial junctures so with every other batsman in utter disarray, Curran will be the only ray of hope for CSK on Sunday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Chris Morris
Although it was Mo Siraj who stole the show in Abu Dhabi the other night, it goes unsaid that Chris Morris will be the man who will hold the key come Sunday. Infamously purchased for INR 10 crore, Morris has justified his price-tag with his performances this season - 9 wickets in 5 games at a ER of 5.00 - and having excelled both up-front and the death, he will once again be looking to terrorize the opposition batsmen come Sunday. He will have fond memories of playing CSK as apart from making his RCB debut versus the Men in Yellow, he also claimed a three-wicket haul the last time he faced them.
Chennai Super Kings - Deepak Chahar
Despite averaging less than 1 wicket per game this season, Deepak Chahar has been a shining light for CSK in IPL 2020. His night in Sharjah ended in misery but in two games prior to Friday, versus RR and DC, the speedster showed his potency, finishing with combined figures of 4/36 to maul batsmen up-front with swing. Given RCB have a top-heavy batting line-up, perhaps an early Chahar burst might help CSK do the unthinkable and upset the third-placed team in the table.
Venue: Dubai International stadium, Dubai
When to Watch: Oct 25, 3:30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)