With four wins in four, the momentum is certainly with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, but then, so is the pressure. With everyone expecting them to now storm into the final and win their maiden IPL title, the pressure will be on Virat Kohli and RCB to perform when the Gujarat Lions come calling for Qualifier 1 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
RCB have been the most exciting team to watch this season, with Kohli, in particular, getting those jaws to drop time and again with his batting artistry. With AB De Villiers in solid form and Chris Gayle, slowly but surely, getting back in the mood, the signs are ominous for the Gujarat Lions – one step wrong, and they will be mauled again, much like they were ten days back at the same venue.
That match will be remembered for the Kohli-De Villiers record alliance, and RCB's plan, bat first or second, will be to make sure their top three score the bulk of the runs, because they know, if Kohli, Gayle and De Villiers fire, 99 times out of a 100, RCB will win.
So, the obvious plan for GL will be to get that top three out. Only one of Kohli, De Villiers or Gayle needs to get going to close out a match, so picking up all three of the wickets, relatively early, will be crucial.
While it is difficult not to think about what RCB can do when on-song, what the Gujarat Lions need to do is to back their strengths and hope that, on matchday, it will be enough to see them through to the IPL 2016 final.
That strategy worked out pretty well in the league phase of the season, with GL being the only team to pick up nine wins. Finishing top of the points table is a great achievement, but it will mean little if they end up losing their next two matches.
While falling to RCB in Qualifier 1 will not be the end of their season – they will have another shot in Delhi against the winner of the Eliminator between SRH and KKR – just to get that nightmare match off their minds, they could use a win.
Kohli and his side, however, will not let that happen easily, and the way RCB are batting and bowling – Shane Watson, Yuzvendra Chahal and Chris Jordan will hold the key in that department -- at the moment, they really do look difficult to beat, particularly with a capacity crowd waving red flags for three-and-a-half hour with chants of "RCB, RCB, RCB" ringing around the stadium.
Where to Watch Live
RCB vs GL is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET) start. Below are the TV and live streaming online options.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Play.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: Supersport. Live Streaming: Supersport Live Video.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
International (ROW): Online live stream: Cricketgateway.