SRH have a better record vs RCB © AFP
SRH have a better record vs RCB © AFP

Match 39 of ongoing VIVO IPL 2018 will witness table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squaring off for the first time in the current edition. The wait is finally over, and SRH host RCB at home. SRH have been the team to beat, and rightly the No. 1 side as of now. Their bowling department walks away with maximum accolades, but the lower-middle order is beginning to come to terms as well. Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Kane Williamson will handle the bulk of scoring, and want to make merry against an inconsistent RCB bowling line-up.

RCB’s campaign is almost over. With 3 victories from 9 encounters, they have to win every game and hope for few others results to be in their favour too. Also, they would like to win if they have any chance to feature in the top four. However, challenging SRH at their own backyard will be a humongous test. SRH have lost just one encounter at home, and they start as favourites here as well.

RCB lost their last match versus Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the latter’s adopted home turf in Pune. Their famed batting lineup couldn’t withstand pressure, and fell like nine pins to soft dismissals. SRH, meanwhile, pushed Delhi Daredevils (DD) on the verge of elimination in their last outing (at home). Will they do the same for RCB?

RCB need a special innings from one of their four batting mainstays: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum. Nonetheless, taking on Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shakib Al Hasan will not be easy at all.

SRH likely XI

Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey/Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma

RCB likely XI

Virat Kohli (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

Predictions

Current form, points table standings and SRH’s home advantage clearly puts them way ahead. Overall, both sides have met in 10 matches. SRH have won 6 out of them. A loss with shut the Playoff doors for RCB. Their batting line-up will most likely compile a moderate score. The bowling unit, due to some improvement shown in the previous games, may push the game till the end but not stop a rampant SRH.