IPL 2018 Preview: Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes fading as Sunrisers Hyderabad juggernaut awaits

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RCB have their backs against the wall. Image - IPL/Twitter.

There will be no more second chances for Royal Challengers Bangalore when they take on IPL leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium on Monday.

The six-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings means that Virat Kohli’s men have lost six out of nine matches and will need to win each of their remaining five games to even stand a chance of making the playoffs.

On the other hand, Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers are emerging as the runaway favourites after a run of four impressive victories on the trot.

RCB’S HOPES FADING

Virat Kohli has cut a picture of frustration in the middle for most of the IPL season. Despite having the riches in the batting department, the side has simply not fired as a collective and has struggled for consistency. One more defeat and RCB’s wait for their first IPL crown will be prolonged for another year at least.

Their three star batsmen in Kohli, Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers all misfired in the defeat to Chennai and they will have to deliver if Bangalore are to stand a chance against Sunrisers’ lethal bowling unit. They will also want more from their Kiwi all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme who hasn’t going yet in the tournament.

SUNRISERS CAN BAT TOO

Throughout the tournament, it has been Hyderabad’s bowling unit which has been taking all the plaudits and been the catalyst for their wins. However, Williamson’s men showed they can turn it on with the bat too when it comes to it after they chased down their highest total (164) in their thrilling seven-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.

Alex Hales’ introduction has given some much needed firepower at the top while Williamson has shown an ability to change gears according to each situation. With Shikhar Dhawan finding some form and Manish Pandey looking good, the hosts batting is looking better than ever.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Sidharth Kaul.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel (wk), Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Colin de Grandhomme, Murugan Ashwin, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj.

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MI v KKR LIVE: Kolkata Knight Riders' openers fall early in chase of 182

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Kolkata are bowling first

It’s another game in the IPL and it’s a big one as defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders. 

KKR captain Dinesh Karthik won the toss and elected to bat at the Wankhede Stadium. They welcome back Nitish Rana who missed their last game.

For Mumbai Indians, defeat is not an option. Another loss will surely signal the end of their play-off hopes.

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IPL 2018: Nitish Rana set to return for Kolkata Knight Riders' IPL clash against Mumbai Indians

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Big game: Kolkata Knight Riders. Image: IPL/Twitter

Another game for Mumbai Indians and another win is essential if the defending champions want to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

Kolkata Knight Riders come into the match at the Wankhede Stadium (14:30 start) on the back of two consecutive wins.

Knight Riders will be boosted by the return of Nitish Rana. The left-hander batsman has become a key player in the middle-order and was forced to miss the Chennai game after suffering a back injury against Royal Challengers Bangalore last weekend.

He looks set to return to No.4 with Shubman Gill expected to move down the order.

Mitchell Johnson could pay the price for his performance against Chennai Super Kings with Tom Curran likely to step in. Johnson went 0-51 against Chennai in their last match and has gone three games without picking up a wicket.

For Mumbai Indians, Kieron Pollard is expected to be benched again with Ben Cutting likely to take his place.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (c, wk), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Shivam Mavi, Piyush Chawla, Tom Curran, Kuldeep Yadav

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