New Delhi, May 16: It's a do-or-die battle for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Delhi Daredevils in Game 67 of IPL 5 here at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday night.
With two matches to go before their learn their fate of play-offs, RCB are in a must-win situation in both these games. A loss in any of the matches will knock them out of the competition.
RCB are fifth with 15 points in the league. Delhi have already qualified for the semi-finals with top position after 14 games and 20 points.
Even if RCB win their remaining matches, that might not guarantee a place in the top-four. Their net run rate is poor (-0.072). That might hamper their chances if other teams like defending champions Chennai Super Kings end up with same number of points.
Chennai have one game to play and if they win that, they will move to 19 points. RCB will also have same points if they succeed in the two matches. Chennai's current net run rate is +0.214.
It is a homecoming for Virat Kohli, the Delhi boy. He has not been in good nick so far and it is time for the stand-in skipper to fire with the bat.
RCB will again depend on Chris Gayle to fire at the top of the order. RCB's batting has depended on the Jamaican's form. He has to come up with another big knock to take them home. It is important for RCB to win this game with a big margin to improve net run rate.
Delhi might think of resting their main players as they have already qualified. That would help RCB's chances.
The home team will play freely on Thursday and all the pressure will be on RCB.
Will RCB excel under pressure?
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Puneet Bisht, Robin Bist, Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Shahbaz Nadeem, Venugopal Rao, Vikas Mishra, Yogesh Nagar, Zafir Patel, Sunny Gupta, Tejashwi Yadav, Aavishkar Salvi, Kuldeep Raval, Manpreet Juneja, Pawan Negi, Prashant Naik, Aaron Finch, Andre Russell, Doug Bracewell, Glenn Maxwell, Gulam Bodi, Morne Morkel and Roelf van der Merwe.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Prashanth Parameswaran, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Kaif, Abrar Kazi, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Charl Langeveldt, Andrew McDonald, Abhimanyu Mithun, Muttiah Muralitharan, Karun Nair, Dirk Nannes, M Gautam, Ryan Ninan, Asad Pathan, Luke Pomersbach, Harshal Patel, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, S Thiyagarajan, Saurabh Tiwary, R Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.