The contrasting routes that the last two teams to make it to IPL 2020 play-offs have taken certainly make Sunrisers Hyderabad the favourites for the Eliminator on Friday.
The David Warner-led side are brimming with confidence after being pushed against the wall and winning their last three group stage clashes to enter the play-offs.
The Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore seem to have peaked early and are coming off 4 back-to-back losses into Thursday’s do-or-die game. They were rather lucky to make it there after the last group stage match against the Delhi Capitals.
Had the DC finished their match 1.3 overs earlier, then KKR would have gone past RCB in the net run rate and would have qualified for the play-offs. That’s how close this season of IPL has been.
However, it would be foolish to rule out Virat Kohli’s side from Friday’s key clash. The reason that they are here in the final four is because they played extremely well in the early part of IPL 2020, where at one point they seemed to be the team to beat.
But in the later stages of the tournament, as the wickets in UAE seem to have dried out, their two key batsmen, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, have struggled to score at ease.
Kohli, however, has taken his time and managed to score runs, but his strike rate hasn’t been what we are used to seeing in crucial encounters. AB de Villiers has more often that not thrown his wicket away after showing early promise, in the last couple of innings.
Opening partnership key for SRH
Sunrisers Hyderabad seem to be getting to their best at the opportune time. With Wriddhiman Saha opening the innings along with David Warner, the SRH seem to have found the perfect combination up the order.
The way the two batsmen played against the Mumbai Indians in their last game on Tuesday will scare any opposition bowling attack.
Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha later confirmed to Sports Today on Wednesday that the SRH team management has given him the license to play his shots.
“Warner and the team encourage me to go for my shots and play the way I feel confident playing. So, in that sense I have been given the license to play my own way,” Saha said.
The formidable middle-order that consists of players such as Kane Williamson, Jason Holder, Manish Pandey also gives the openers the confidence to go for their shots upfront.
In the bowling department, things seem fairly even between the two sides as the RCB spinning duo of Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal have picked wickets at ease. SRH have been ably supported by Sandeep Sharma and Shahbaz Nadeem in the last few matches.