If the Royal Challengers Bangalore are to make the cut into the playoffs, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Miraculous things similar to this have happened in the past in the IPL, and RCB have been at the receiving end of it quite a few times. They still will be optimistic to repeat their heroics from the past seasons where they have risen from similar situations.
No team till date have made it to the playoffs after losing their first six matches. But the side led by Kohli will only want to focus on their upcoming games in the pursuit of winning all of them.
We have seen Mumbai Indians who were five losses down come up and reach the knockouts in 2014. RCB too will be looking to take a cue from MI and hope for things to fall into places eventually. The minimum matches a side needs to win is 7, so still, practically there is a chance for RCB to make the cut.
With the final stage of the league games approaching, RCB cannot afford any slip-ups and should take one game at a time. We have seen in the past how quickly dynamics can change and how close the contest is during the fag end of the league stages. RCB scored their fourth win by defeating Punjab by 17 runs in yet another last over high scoring thriller, have moved up to the 7th position.
Kholi will be relieved seeing their bowlers finally deliver in the depth overs and holding their nerves to clinch their third straight win on the trot. With Parthiv also looking in sublime touch, both in front of the wickets and also while keeping the wickets is a positive sign. AB de Villiers also played a vintage ABD inning against Punjab and would be looking to continue the carnage in the upcoming games.
However, they also have a few concerns looming over their heads with the departure of their all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Moeen Ali. Moreover, Dale Steyn who has been phenomenal in the couple matches that he has played has also been ruled out reportedly with a shoulder injury. The Royal Challengers will have to fill the huge void created by three of their players on whom the team had been depending on will no longer be available for selection.
The other overseas options left for them include the West Indian big-hitter Shimron Hetmyer who has looked off-colour in the opportunities that he has got. Heinrich Kaalsen and Colin de Grandhomme.
The RCB side will be taking on the Delhi Capitals after a gap of three days. Delhi have lost all of the last five encounters between the two teams. Delhi last defeated Bangalore in the year 2016. Another interesting fact is that Kholi’s side has not lost a match at the Kotla since 2010.
Kholi will want his side to build on the momentum that they have gained off-late and hope it is the case of better late than never for the Royal Challengers. They will be looking to get the better of the Delhi Capitals who are placed at the top half of the table and improve their net run-rate of -0.683 which is the worst in comparison of other teams.
The Bangalore have a captain in Kholi who believes in fighting till the end even when all the chips are down. They still have a chance with all the permutations and combinations of making it to the playoffs. If they manage to do so, it surely would set an example of a miraculous comeback in sports.