"I love it, this is what we play for," was Virat Kohli's answer to the "You need to win every single game now" question. If the Royal Challengers Bangalore will step up with the pressure firmly on them remains to be seen, as they host the Gujarat Lions in an IPL 2016 game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
RCB, after a tame loss to the Mumbai Indians in their last game, cannot afford to drop anymore points; with four games remaining, they absolutely must win all of those four matches to have a realistic chance of making it through to the IPL 2016 playoffs.
To win those four matches, RCB need their big guns to fire all the time, be that Kohli, himself, AB De Villiers, Shane Watson or, more pertinently, Chris Gayle. Gayle has had a forgettable IPL so far, failing to even cross double figures in any of his matches, and having struggled to make an impact with the bat on his return to the playing XI in the last match, there is a case for dropping the left-hander back again.
However, considering the importance of this game, and the sheer match-winning ability that Gayle brings to the table, it is likely that the West Indian will keep his place in the team, with Travis Head, as a result, sitting out another match.
That might not be the case for Chris Jordan, however, after the Englishman suffered a third consecutive torrid outing with the ball. Brought in, in the hope that he will act as a solid replacement for Mitchell Starc, Jordan has struggled in each of his first three IPL matches, unable to curtail the run flow or pick up enough wickets to justify the leaking of runs.
If Jordan is left out, Tabraiz Shamsi could find a way back in, but with Kohli always a fan of picking fast bowlers, the England international might just get one last opportunity to make his case for being in the playing XI for the rest of IPL 2016.
While RCB have a couple of playing XI decisions to ponder over, the Gujarat Lions need to decide on who will replace Suresh Raina in the team and as captain. Raina will miss his first ever IPL match, after failing to return in time from the Netherlands, where he has been since the start of this week to be with his wife, who is set to give birth to their first child.
Brendon McCullum looks like the man who will take over the captaincy duties, while one of Ishan Kishan or Akshdeep Nath will probably come in for Raina in the playing XI.
Expected playing XI: RCB: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (C), AB De Villiers, KL Rahul, Shane Watson, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Chris Jordan, Varun Aaron, S Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Gujarat Lions: Brendon McCullum (C), Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik, Aaron Finch, Akshdeep Nath, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shivil Kaushik, Pravin Tambe.