The Indian T20 League announced the format of the two qualifiers and the Eliminator a few years back to reward consistency in the league phase of the tournament. In this format, the teams placed third and fourth in the league table after the completion of the league phase will play each other for a spot in the Qualifier 2 to be played against the loser of Qualifier 1 for a spot in the final.
In 2020, the league phase was as exciting and tightly contested as in any year. We went down to the last match of the league to decide the last playoff spot. Hyderabad managed to win handsomely on this occasion to qualify third in the league. Bangalore scraped through as the fourth-best team in the league and their hope for the first title is still alive.
Virat Kohli vs Sandeep Sharma
Surprisingly, the Indian captain has struggled against Sandeep Sharma over the years in this competition. In the last match between these two teams, Sandeep yet again got the better of ‘Super V’. It was the seventh time that Sandeep dismissed Kohli and Hyderabad will go for this matchup in the Eliminator as well.
Both are class players and will look to outperform each other.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
When the going gets tougher the best stand up. That has been the case with David Warner. He has been the G.O.A.T of this tournament in the last five years and he continues to inspire his team to yet another playoffs spot.
AB de Villiers
Bangalore have had the worst strike rate in the middle phase of the innings in this competition and that tells us how over-reliant they are on de Villiers to up the tempo in each match. If Bangalore are to lift their maiden trophy, then they’ll need Mr 360 to be almost flawless.
Bangalore are desperate to take the pressure of scoring the big runs off the shoulders of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. They can include Aaron Finch to step up in the middle-order and Hyderabad should go in unchanged.
SRH: David Warner (C), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma
RCB: Josh Phillipe, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Aaron Finch, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini
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