Can Royal Challengers Bangalore qualify for the playoffs? Yes, if mathematics and a lot of permutations and combinations are covered, they can. Will Rajasthan Royals make it? They too are on thin ice, but in much better shape as compared to RCB, and need to win all their matches to even start dreaming about any calculation. This match is between the two bottom-placed sides and now, both need to start playing with a lot more freedom.
Predicted XI of both sides:
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (capt), Parthiv Patel (wk), AB de Villiers, Heinrich Klaasen, Shivam Dube, Marcus Stoinis, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Tim Southee
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone, Steven Smith (c), Sanju Samson (wk), Riyan Parag, Ashton Turner, Shreyas Gopal, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Oshane Thomas
Fantasy tips and suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: Sanju Samson gets the nod ahead of Parthiv Patel as he has looked good all season and on a flat track at the Chinnaswamy will be difficult to stop once he gets going. Also, he could be promoted up the order as he had a good record in Bangalore, which could work perfectly for Rajasthan.
Batsmen: Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have to be in the side, but both these players need to be watchful against Shreyas Gopal and his leggies. However, they are both in form and now when they have little to lose, can be very dangerous.
For Rajasthan, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith have combined well in the last couple of matches and should be the key for their side.
All-rounders: Marcus Stoinis can be game-changer for RCB but has not been given enough time out in the middle and this is one area where the RCB need to sit and think it out. Stoinis should ideally follow Kohli and de Villiers in the middle order as he then gets enough time to break open the match.
Also, Ashton Turner could finally find his reckoning in this match, and Smith could well use him as a bowling option on a flat Chinnaswamy surface.
Spinners: Shreyas Gopal has been the find of the season and he has already accounted for both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers earlier in the season. He is back on his home turf and will hold the key for Steve Smith.
Also, Yuzvendra Chahal, who goes about his business with remarkable consistency deserves to be in the side and will be critical against the likes of Steve Smith and Sanju Samson in the middle overs.
Seam bowlers: Varun Aaron with his extra pace and zip can be handy on this surface, but he needs to get rid of the opening combination as soon as possible. Also, Navdeep Saini, who has looked impressive in patches, should get the nod in this side.