After a morale-boosting win in Kolkata, Royal Challengers Bangalore host table toppers Chennai Super Kings in match 39 of the Indian Premier League on Sunday. CSK are the defending champions and a win against RCB will guarantee a place in the top-four. However, history does not favour the hosts as RCB have lost all their last seven matches against CSK and their last win came way back in 2014.
CSK’ defeat against SRH in the previous game could serve as a wake-up call. However, in that match, MS Dhoni was sitting and is expected to be fit for the game on Sunday. Dhoni, who has scored 230 runs in eight games including two half-centuries, will hold the key once again. The star bowler for CSK this season has been 40-year-old Imran Tahir, who has taken 13 wickets. The South African import has executed his skipper’s plans brilliantly.
RCB, on the other hand, have momentum on their side and will be fired up after the win against KKR at Kolkata on Friday night. It was only their second win in nine games in the season. RCB’s playoffs hopes are hanging by a thread but can draw inspiration from their 2016 campaign where they lost the first five games out of seven, and then went on to win six of their last seven matches and storm into the knockouts.
Pitch Report: Weather won’t be on the hotter side with the temperature. The pitch at the Chinnaswamy is expected to be a batting paradise and bowlers will have to be on the money, unless they don’t want to get carted around the park.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Dale Steyn, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn.