RCB the heavy favourites, SRH the "they can win, but they are going to need everything to go right" side – the IPL 2016 final promises to be one of those games that will go into the IPL vault, only to be shown time and again as one of the classics of the tournament.
With the Sunrisers Hyderabad winning two matches in 48 hours against teams that could have easily won the title, momentum is definitely something that they will bring with them when they visit the Chinnaswamy Stadium m in Bengaluru for this final, but David Warner's men are going to need a lot more than just momentum to stop the Royal Challengers Bangalore juggernaut.
RCB have been the most exciting team to watch this season, with Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers lighting up the tournament with their fantastic batting. Those two will be the key for this final as well. While Kohli is on the brink of breaching the 1000-run mark for the season – he needs 81 runs in the final to do that -- something previously thought to be impossible, De Villiers has been quite consistent as well, rescuing RCB out of a couple of tricky situations.
Kohli has done plenty of that rescuing act also, and with Gayle probably due a big knock, SRH will need to bowl out of their skins to stand a chance of winning their first IPL title. But then, RCB are also targeting their maiden IPL crown, and with their bowlers, led by Chris Jordan, Shane Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal, finally hitting their straps, SRH have a normal mountain and then Mt. Everest to climb to beat this Royal Challengers Bangalore unit.
"We will definitely plan for him," Bhuvneshwar Kumar told the IPL's official website, while talking about the man of the tournament Virat Kohli. "Everyone knows he is a world-class batsman and the kind of form he is in, it is difficult to bowl to him.
"But when you are playing against such an opponent, you too want to perform and to get him out. We will definitely have our plans for him. I hope that we will be able to successfully implement our plans."
If they don't, RCB will run away with this match. What SRH need is for their bowlers – and they will hope Mustafizur Rahman is fit – to nullify the threat posed by RCB's famed trio, while also hoping David Warner leads from the front with the bat, much like he did in Qualifier 2 on Friday.
With the likes of Yuvraj Singh, who will want to make his mark against his former team, and Shikhar Dhawan also in the batting lineup, SRH have the talent to beat any side in the tournament, but everyone will have to play to their optimum levels to stand a chance of spoiling the RCB party.
Where to Watch Live
RCB vs SRH, the IPL 2016 final, 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 options.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
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): Online live stream: Cricketgateway.