Only a win will do as the Royal Challengers Bangalore play their final home match of the league season on Wednesday. Kings XI Punjab are the opponents, and if RCB manage to pick up their third consecutive win, they will be one win away from virtually confirming their place in the top four.
With the final scheduled to be played in Bengaluru, RCB have extra motivation to finish in the playoff places, and that will only be possible with two wins in two. Their previous two victories have come as a result of some flawless batting from the Royal Challengers Bangalore, particularly Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers.
Make the playoffs or bust, RCB have been an absolute joy to watch this season thanks to Kohli and De Villiers, who have played some of the best cricket you are likely to see this year. The last time RCB played at the Chinnaswamy, Kohli and De Villiers put on a world record partnership, and if they get anywhere close to that level against the Kings XI Punjab, there will be only one winner.
The biggest positive for RCB from their win over KKR in Kolkata was Chris Gayle's return to form, and if the West Indian finds his range at the small Chinnaswamy ground, KXIP bowlers will spend half their time craning their necks watching the ball soar over their heads.
While RCB, whose bowling has also looked good in the last couple of games, with the likes of Shane Watson, Yuzvendra Chahal and Chris Jordan leading from the front, have plenty of motivation to win this match, Kings XI have little to play for. With a chance of making the playoffs gone and three of their key overseas players – Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis -- back home, Kings XI will play for the proverbial pride, but if that pride motivation is enough to beat a marauding RCB, who beat them in the reverse fixture by a solitary run, only time will tell.
"Our last few games have gone down the wire," KXIP coach Sanjay Bangar was quoted as saying by IPL's official website. "The ones we have lost, have been by very small margins. I am pretty happy with the quality of cricket KXIP have played in the last six games although the points table doesn't reflect it. We need to come out (against RCB) and repeat the same level of cricket that we would like to play."
Where to Watch Live
RCB vs KXIP is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3.30 p.m. BST, 10.30 a.m. ET) start. Here are the TV and live streaming online options.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
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.
International (ROW): Cricketgateway.