After a sedate start to the Indian Premier League, the genius of Virat Kohli has single-handedly lifted the Royal Challenger’s Bangalore to a place in the play-offs this season.
They finished second by virtue of their net-run-rate, the highest for a team in the group stage this season. And with the momentum strongly on their side, they are surely one of the favorites to go all the way this season.
But the with the format of the games and the venues of the qualifiers and the eliminators, the Bangalore boys seem destined to lift their maiden Premier League trophy this season.
Here is a look at why the Royal Challengers Bangalore are firm favorites to take away the trophy this season.
Virat Kohli’s RCB franchise has now won their last 4 games home and away and is going into the knock-out stage of the competition high on confidence.
They have a terrific group of players who understand their role in the team and the Indian domestic players have done extremely well with the bat and the ball in the last few games to make sure that they finish second in the points table.
And finishing there has its own advantages as RCB will not get two shots at reaching the IPL final.
The Indian Premier League has its own peculiar format for the knock-out stage with two eliminators and one qualifier that will decide the two teams who will face off in the final. You can understand it better here:
This will mean that Kohli’s side take on the Gujarat Lions in the first qualifier. Both teams have won a match each in their respective home grounds and the Lions who have done extremely well in their debut season will face RCB in their home-ground in the first qualifier.
It will not be a good place for Lion’s to visit who were smashed for 248 in that game in the group stage as they surrendered to a 144 run defeat. This will leave the Royal Challenger’s Bangalore with a great chance to go all the way to the final in the first time of asking.
The Lions are a good side but playing at their home ground, the likes of AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle along with Kohli himself will surely be hard to beat.
This leaves them with a chance to face any of the three teams in the competition, the Lions, the Knight Riders and the Sunrisers, in the final.
And guess where the finals of the competition are held? Yes, it is at the Chinnaswamy, the home ground for the RCB, the place where they make scores of 200+ for fun.
The Bangalore boys have defeated all the three teams at the Chinnaswamy stadium this season and that by huge margins. Against the Lions, as already mentioned, they produced the best performance of the season while against the Sunrisers, Kohli’s side smashed 226 in the first game of the tournament for both sides.
They chased down KKR’s target of 180+ with 9 wickets and more than an over remaining showing their dominance on the 22-yards at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
In their current form, there are very few teams that can even get a result against RCB but playing them at their fortress more or less makes them downright favorites to lift the title.
Do you think it is unfair to have the final on the home-turf of the strongest team in the competition?