IPL 2018: RCB eyes survival against SRH

For Sunrisers, the match presents another opportunity for the batsmen to come to the fore, while for Bangalore, survival would be the key.

Another loss in the eight-team league would mean the Virat Kohli's men would be staring at an unceremonious exit.   -  AFP

A rampaging Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will look to consolidate its position as league leaders when it meets laggards Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, here, on Monday.

While for Sunrisers, the match presents another opportunity to the batsmen to come to the fore, while for Bangalore, survival would be the key. Another loss in the eight-team league would mean the Virat Kohli's men would be staring at an unceremonious exit.

While the bowlers hogged the limelight for Kane Williamson's men, the batsmen finished the job for them on Saturday, against Delhi Daredevils, in a tight chase.

READ: 'Net bowler' Prasidh Krishna debuts for Kolkata Knight Riders

With a spot in the playoffs virtually cemented, the match also presents an opportunity for Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, and the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan to get back into a free-flowing mode. While it was Yusuf who helped SRH cross the line against Delhi, Dhawan blew away a good start with a slog, while Alex Hales came good with a destructive innings at the top.

The return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar had strengthened the bowling for SRH and Kohli's men should come up with something special to upstage the host's bowling applecart.

However, Sunrisers captain Williamson said that it is too early to think about the playoffs. "We are certainly not thinking about that. We want to improve with each performance as no team can be taken for granted," he said in an interaction.

Star Wars: Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs AB de Villiers

On his batting, Williamson said that adaptability is the key. "I might not be hitting the ball like Gayle or Warner. I think my role suits the team's needs. It is all about adjustment in the mindset rather than making big changes in batting. Look at your areas of strength and play according to the situation," Williamson added.

Rashid Khan, Siddharth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma have had some contrasting games in the league so far, but they have performed when it mattered. A good game, on Monday, would be morale-boosting, ahead of the business end of the league.

For Royal Challengers Bangalore, the big guns – Virat Kohli, A.B. de Villiers, Brendon McCullum – haven't headlined any notable performance for now, but they would hope to come good in a bid for survival.

ALSO READ: Prithvi Shaw continues to make heads turn

The likes of Mandeep Singh and Colin de Grandhomme should also step up in the middle order, should RCB lend some glimmer of hope to its playoffs dreams.

In the bowling department, Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been decent with the ball, but they lack support from fellow bowlers like Tim Southee, Washingon Sundar and Hyderabad-born Mohammed Siraj.

A packed Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, thanks to the presence of Kohli and de Villiers, is likely, and SRH would hope it would be 'business as usual' in its penultimate home game.