51 games into the 2018 IPL and we’re still uncertain as to what the final top four will look like at the end of the fixture. This next game sees a team who’ve already qualified for the playoffs up against a team who barely has a pulse but still remain in contention having won their last two games. The Knight Riders are just one game away from securing a spot in the finals, that leaves Rajasthan, Punjab, Mumbai and the Royal Challengers left to fight it out in an epic battle for supremacy.
Bangalore would be getting on a few teams nerves after winning back-to-back games to keep them in the playoffs race, It seemed as if Kings XI Punjab and the Rajasthan Royals were the main contenders battling it out for that last spot in the finals before the Royal Challengers decided to flick the switch. The task at hand is simple for Bangalore, all they have to do is keep winning in order to give themselves the best chance of staying alive in the tournament beyond the regular fixture. Sounds simple enough, but in reality this will test Virat Kohli in particular who would probably admit that his side has had a pretty bumpy campaign in 2018. Kohli himself has once again been a barometer for Bangalore this season, he’s barely put a foot wrong in terms of his own batting performance averaging a healthy 57.11 from the Royal Challengers 12 games played. Parthiv Patel seems to be playing his part at the top of the order since being included 35 matches into the 2018 tournament, it doesn’t look as if South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock will get a look in for the remainder of IPL 11 unless something drastic happens. This is the type of game where South Africa’s most talented white-ball dominator AB de Villiers comes into the conversation as a genuine match winner; Mr. 360 has once again lit up the IPL stage in 2018 with some incredible batting onslaughts that simply cannot go unrecognized. Historically this season, Sunrisers Hyderabad have continuously crucified opposition bowling attacks which will be an area of caution for RCB. If anyone is going to disrupt the inform Kane Williamson, it has to be the quick & flashy Umesh Yadav. With 17 wickets to his name striking at 15.94 this season, Yadav has been one of the most effective quicks to feature in this year’s IPL. Will RCB’s dream-comeback be short-lived, or can they continue their winning ways?
The Sunrisers colossal six-match winning streak was finally broken by the Chennai Super Kings who benefited immensely from the white-hot Ambati Rayudu who blasted an unbeaten ton to successfully chase down Hyderabad’s set target of 180. That lengthy period of dominance for the Sunrisers says something about this team though, they’re hands down the most competitive side in the competition this season with some of their major signings taking on the responsibility of making a difference & nailing it. Captain Kane Williamson can’t be praised enough for the amount of time & effort he’s put into the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018, his tournament statistics speak for themselves along with the all-important end results which sees them perched on top of the points table with nine wins. The Black Caps modern day master of the willow is averaging above 60 having notched up seven half centuries along the way, he’s simply been unstoppable and remains as Hyderabad’s biggest weapon with the playoffs just around the corner. Speaking of just around the corner, Shikhar Dhawan has turned a huge corner himself posting consecutive fifties against the Daredevils and Super Kings which has given the Sunrisers that extra spark they were looking for. Question marks still remain around the likes of Alex Hales and Shreevats Goswami tomorrow night, but the bigger picture involves Hyderabad’s efficient bowling unit who’ve up until now done a tremendous job in 2018. Coming up against two of the world’s most talented stroke-makers (Kohli & de Villiers), Hyderabad will have their work cut out for them if they can’t pinch at least one of those wickets early on. We’ve learnt that consistency is hard to come by for a bowler T20 comps around the world, but the Sunrisers have a handful of individuals who are generally more successful than unsuccessful. Both Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan have the ability to take match winning wickets, RCB will be tempted to take on the spinning-duo resulting in a “high risk for reward” outcome.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Royal Challengers Bangalore | 51st match | Bengaluru
- Virat Kohli
- Umesh Yadav
- AB de Villiers
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Parthiv Patel
Wildcard pick – Mohammed Siraj
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sunrisers Hyderabad | 51st match | Bengaluru
- Kane Williamson
- Rashid Khan
- Shakib Al Hasan
- Sandeep Sharma
- Shikhar Dhawan
Wildcard pick – Alex Hales
Royal Challengers Bangalore (possible) – 1. Virat Kohli © 2. Parthiv Patel (wk) 3. Moeen Ali/Brendon McCullum 4. AB de Villiers 5. Mandeep Singh 6. Sarfaraz Khan/Manan Vohra 7. Colin de Grandhomme 8. Tim Southee/Chris Woakes 9. Umesh Yadav 10. Mohammed Siraj 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. Shikhar Dhawan 2. Alex Hales 3. Kane Williamson © 4. Manish Pandey/Yusuf Pathan 5. Shakib Al Hasan 6. Deepak Hooda 7. Shreevats Goswami/Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 8. Rashid Khan 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Siddarth Kaul/Basil Thampi 11. Sandeep Sharma.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.