We have a double header of action in the Indian Premier League on Sunday with the first match coming from the Feroz Shah Kotla as the much improved Delhi Capitals play host to the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
All matches are big at this stage of the campaign but this one has a genuinely huge feel about it. The Capitals can put themselves within touching distance of the postseason with a win while the Royal Challengers have to win to stay alive.
I expected to see a much better campaign from the Delhi Capitals this time around and to date that is exactly what they have delivered. They have been so good that they are a win away from securing their spot in the play-offs with two matches to spare, which is a wonderful achievement for a side who are renowned for missing out on the end of term party.
The reason for their success this season has been their ability to adapt. They have encountered many problems along the way this term but they have reflected on them and made sure they don’t suffer the same issues twice. That has given the quality youngsters in the squad the freedom to perform and they have repaid that faith accordingly. They are serious contenders here.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Three matches ago the Royal Challengers Bangalore were in tatters. They had won one of their opening eight games and looked like they wouldn’t even make an impression on the season. Something clicked within though and they have won their last three matches and with other teams slipping up regularly, amazingly the Bengaluru outfit are still alive in the tournament.
Their batting has rallied around the two main men and they are no longer so reliant on them and they have stepped up and been counted with the ball which has been important too. They remain under pressure and have to win their final three matches to have any chance of progressing but they would have taken this position a couple of weeks ago.
All eyes will be on the Delhi Capitals to see how many spinners they select here. They have been guilty of using the wrong combination at home this term but got it right last time out. Sandeep Lamichhane is the one most want to see.
A settled side has been the foundation of a good run of form for the Royal Challengers Bangalore but they will not have the luxury of remaining unchanged here. Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the tournament while Moeen Ali has gone home. Colin de Grandhomme or Shimron Hetmyer will replace him.
I think the loss of Moeen Ali could be a big thing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He has been very good for them this season and his spin would have been useful here not just his batting. The players they have that could replace the Englishman don’t have the same qualities as the beard to be feared and that is a concern for me.
Delhi Capitals haven’t always got it right at home this season but they delivered their best performance of the campaign at the Kotla in their last match here which offers plenty of hope for them going into this one. Bangalore just don’t look as strong to me without Steyn and Ali. They were useless without them earlier in the season and I suspect they may revert to type here. I’m with the home side.
WON – Back Delhi Capitals to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Betfred
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