The Royal Challengers Bangalore will fancy their chances of winning this IPL 2016 final, considering their form and the fact that it is being played at their home ground – the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The Sunrisers Hyderabad will know they are the underdogs for this particular IPL final, but then, that might just galvanise them to go out and perform to their absolute best on the night.
With both teams having superstars like AB De Villiers, Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, David Warner and Yuvraj Singh, plenty of runs can be expected in this final, with the team that bowls better, naturally, ending up as the champions, that too for the first time in their history.
Here is a prediction of how RCB vs SRH, the IPL 2016 final, could transpire.
If RCB bat first: The last time Warner asked RCB to bat first at the Chinnaswamy, they scored well in excess of 200 to bat their opponents out of the game. This time as well, RCB look menacing, as Gayle and Kohli get off to a blazing start. Gayle looks like he has a point to prove, and he is determined to prove it on the grandest IPL stage. The left-hander starts hitting sixes at will, with Kohli happy to play second fiddle. RCB race to 89 at the end of the eighth over, leaving Warner with plenty to think. He gives the ball to Yuvraj Singh, even with a left-hander at the crease, and that does the trick, as the SRH veteran dismisses Gayle, and then De Villiers as well, to keep SRH in the hunt. Kohli, though, is not going to be stopped, not in such a big final, and the right-hander takes over, with KL Rahul coming in and playing a nice 32. Shane Watson walks in and smashes three sixes in the end as RCB post 195 in their 20 overs.
It is a hefty, but makeable target, with a lot of SRH's success dependant on Warner. The left-hander starts off well, but then Watson dismisses his Australian compatriot in the fifth over. That wicket is like taking a pin to a balloon as far as SRH are concerned, and while Dhawan and Moises Henriques try their best to stay on course for the chase, it just never looks right. Yuvraj comes in as well and plays a nice 34, but the required run rate just keeps creeping up and up, leading to SRH losing wickets in clumps in the second half of the innings. That ends up being all she wrote as far as the chase is concerned, and RCB clinch the title with a 23-run win.
If SRH bat first: Warner starts of brilliantly, striking Sreenath Aravind for two boundaries and a six, with Dhawan getting in on the act as well, as Stuart Binny is taken for a few. That puts the pressure on the RCB bowlers, and as has been the case quite often in IPL 2016, the pressure gets to them, with only Watson able to stem the flow of runs, to a certain extent. But, that is not enough, as the two openers coast to 119 in 12 overs, before Warner falls to Yuzvendra Chahal. Dhawan is dismissed a couple of overs later, by the same bowler, but there is no stopping the SRH train this time around. Henriques and Yuvraj combine for 40 runs, before Yuvraj and Deepak Hooda go six-crazy in the final two overs to lift SRH to 207.
Knowing an innings and a half is needed, Kohli starts off a little cautiously, while Gayle falls at the other end, to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. A final blazing partnership between the two best batsmen in the world – Kohli and De Villiers is needed – and the two superstars oblige. The fans are driven crazy as boundary after boundary come off the two batsmen's blades, with Mustafizur Rahman/Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar and the rest of the SRH bowlers unable to do anything to stop them. De Villiers and Kohli put on 134 runs together before the former falls, but with the run rate required below the ten mark at that point, Kohli makes the rest of the chase look easier than an apple pie as RCB clinch their maiden title in some style, with all of seven balls to spare.