RCB could also take a cue from a similar situation in 2016 when they had lost five of their first seven games but ended up in the playoffs after winning six of their last seven matches
Bengaluru: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are all set to seal a playoff berth against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League on Sunday. They will get 16 points with a win at the Chinnaswamy, and it should be enough to guarantee a place in the top-four.
However, their leader MS Dhoni, who missed the game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) due to a stiff back, might not be able to play the match with the World cup around the corner.
Following the tournament opener between CSK and RCB in Chennai, both teams have had different campaigns. While CSK has lived up to their reputation again, RCB continue to under-perform.
No doubt, RCB will be fired up after the win against KKR at Kolkata on Friday night when they finally managed to defend despite a brutal assault from Andre Russell and Nitish Rana. It was only their second win in nine games in the season so far though it has still kept them mathematically alive in the tournament.
RCB could also take a cue from a similar situation in 2016 when they had lost five of their first seven games but ended up in the playoffs after winning six of their last seven matches.
In the absence of an indisposed AB de Villiers on Friday, Virat Kohli took it all upon him to post a big total and in the process scored his first century of the season. With AB expected to be back, RCB will be aiming to please their loyal fans with a victory at last on their home ground.
Despite the arrival of Dale Steyn, their bowling remains a worry as it was evident at the Eden Gardens where Russell and Rana almost pulled off the impossible after KKR needed 113 off the last six overs.
On the other hand, CSK will fancy themselves against RCB and sail into the playoffs. Dhoni, who has scored 230 runs in eight games including two half-centuries, will hold the key once again (if he plays).
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.
Probably playing XIs
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Dale Steyn.
Chennai Super Kings: Suresh Raina (c), Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Sam Billings (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir.
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.
The match starts at 8 pm on April 21.
Last Updated 4:48 PM IST