The race for TATA IPL 2023 playoffs continues to heat up as the league phase of the Biggest T20 nears its end. As many as five teams are still in contention for the three playoff berths that are up for grabs.
With an eye to secure a playoffs berth, Royal Challengers Bangalore face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the latter’s backyard. With two very important points on the line, RCB are raring to come out all guns blazing against SRH – who are playing for pride after getting eliminated in the top-four race.
A loss tonight will end the campaign of the Faf du Plessis-led side in the competition. Their defeat will ensure CSK and LSG – both on 15 points – qualify for the playoffs. Even MI will stay in contention if RCB loses tonight. So many teams will closely monitor this Southern Derby between these traditional rivals.
Former Australia cricketer Tom Moody believes RCB find themselves in this situation due to the losses they suffered halfway through the competition. The team has been running hot and cold in its campaign during TATA IPL 2023 which impacted them.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, Tom Moody said, “RCB’s form has tapered off through the halfway stage, they started well but lost steam in the second phase. So they need to pull up their socks and go full throttle in the remaining games. They have a player like Virat Kohli, who will do everything in his potential to help RCB stay in the playoffs race.”
Former India cricketer Yusuf Pathan highlighted the lack of teamwork in RCB’s campaign this year and the team once again looked heavily dependent upon KGF (Kohli, Maxwell and Faf).
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, Yusuf Pathan said, “RCB will have to play as a team. Now is not the time that RCB should focus on just three players (Kohli, Maxwell and Faf). Now every player will have to come forward and fulfil his responsibility.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday Delhi Capitals defeated Punjab Kings quite convincingly to all but end Shikhar Dhawan-led team’s playoffs hopes.
Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan claimed Punjab’s defeat has certainly brought some relief in the RCB, MI and CSK camps ahead of their do-or-die games.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, Irfan Pathan said, “RCB are in an advantageous position with Punjab Kings’ loss. MI will also fancy their chances but their fate will also hinge on the result of the match between CSK and DC.”
Irfan also praised Delhi Capitals bowlers Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav for making good use of the Dharamsala track and containing Punjab Kings’ batters from scoring runs freely.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, Irfan Pathan said, “The six overs bowled by Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav made the difference on the Dharamshala track. But PBKS team management’s faulty strategies are also to be blamed. Those errors cost them dearly.”