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Hyderabad eye victory against Bangalore to bolster fading playoff hopes

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While Hyderabad are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, holding 10 points to their name after 12 games, in Bangalore, they are up against one of the best teams of the 2020 edition. Bangalore are stronger and a far more balanced side than Warner's squad and are in good form to win this encounter.

That said, while Bangalore were arguably one of the top teams of the lot a couple of matches ago, two losses on the trot have left them seeking a victory in one of their two remaining matches. The first of them, against Hyderabad, will be one they'll be looking forward to, having thumped Hyderabad soundly earlier, and sealing up a playoff spot.

Hyderabad will hope to continue middle overs choke over Bangalore

Hyderabad face Bangalore, hoping to continue their dominance in the middle overs. Hyderabad have taken 33 wickets from overs 7 to 16, joint-most by a team in the middle overs. They also have an economy of 6.76 - best by a team in the middle overs - and the most dot balls (252) and have conceded the least boundaries (69) in the middle overs.

Hyderabad are the only team along with Bangalore who have four bowlers with less than an economy of seven in the middle overs. However, Bangalore have the least strike rate (114.00%) in the middle overs, and their average in the middle overs is the second least (22.79), highlighting their struggles in the middle overs in Indian T20 League 2020. Bangalore’s tally of 72 boundaries is also the least by a team in the middle overs of the Indian T20 League 2020.

Players to watch:

Bangalore – Virat Kohli

Although he started off the season cold, Virat Kohli soon shook it off and returned to his expected form to help boost Bangalore into a legitimate playoff-hopeful this season. Along with his good mate AB de Villiers, they have shouldered Bangalore, particularly during the death overs. Kohli leads the way among Bangalore's top four run-scorers when it comes to runs scored in their wins, with 270 at a strike-rate of 138.46. He remained not out in four out of the six innings that Bangalore won, while he has been dismissed in all five innings that Bangalore have lost thus far, suggesting the importance of Virat being there at the end for Bangalore. However, while AB has been striking it at over 150, Kohli has struggled in the death overs where Bangalore have failed to win and that is something Kohli will be working on improving upon in the match against Hyderabad.

Here's how Kohli has fared against Hyderabad's bowlers so far this tournament, with Sandeep Sharma dismissing the Bangalore skipper the most number of times.

Bowler Innings Runs scored Balls faced Dismissed  S/R
Sandeep Sharma 11 66 46 6 143.47
Rashid Khan 3 18 19 1 94.73
Basil Thampi 2 16 16 1 100
Shahbaz Nadeem 6 56 50 0 112
Siddharth Kaul 2 18 13 0 138.46

Hyderabad - Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha, throughout his Indian T20 League career, has excelled as an opener, scoring 492 runs as an opener at an average of 28.94. He has a strike rate of 146.42 as an opener. Therefore, it was no surprise that when Hyderabad opened with Saha for the first time in Indian T20 League 2020, they reaped the rewards as Saha excelled alongside Warner, scoring 87 runs - the highest score by a player in the match. It was the second-highest score by a Hyderabad player in Indian T20 League 2020 and Saha’s brilliance helped Hyderabad score 200+ for only the second time in Indian T20 League 2020.

Saha has a strike rate of 137.50 in Powerplay among players who have faced more than 300 balls in Indian T20 League, and he ranks eighth in that regard, better than the likes of Gayle, KL Rahul and Du Plessis. With Saha opening, Hyderabad can fit in Williamson at No. 4 to solve their middle-order woes. Williamson has been Hyderabad’s best middle-order player, scoring 163 runs at an average of 40.75, best by a Hyderabad player, and will be one to keep an eye on against Bangalore.

Stats to watch out for:

3: Wickets needed by Holder to reach 100 T20 Wickets.

4: Runs De Villiers needs to reach 9000 runs in T20s.

3: Steyn needs 3 wickets to reach 100 Indian T20 League wickets.

6: Times Sandeep Sharma has dismissed Kohli, joint-most along with Nehra in Indian T20 League.

100: Rashid Khan’s average vs Bangalore in the last 3 matches, he has taken just 1 wicket in the last 3 matches conceding 100 runs.

Writer’s pick

Although they are coming off two losses in a row, every team have a few bad patches in their campaign and it's the right time for Bangalore to brush it off with a win over Hyderabad, who will be giving their all but even that will likely not be enough. 

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran

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