RCB vs DC IPL 2021 Preview: 8th Oct - Not much to gain for Bangalore, Delhi in last league match
A win or loss for either team will not have any direct bearing on their fate in the competition.
A rare dead rubber
It is never ideal to say out loud that a particular match in perhaps the best T20 league across the world has no meaning at all. But, this is one such match.
To be honest, this is a rarity. Generally, the last group match of the IPL has always had a lot riding on it and multiple teams still in with a chance of qualification to the playoffs.
However, poor performances from Sunrisers Hyderabad and some exceptional consistency from Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings has meant that the playoffs qualification have been decided quite early this season.
Delhi ensured of top two spot
Delhi Capitals are slotted at the top with 10 victories from 13 matches. They are comfortably placed with 20 points and win or lose, their top two finish is ensured. The team will most likely play its Qualifier 1 match against Chennai Super Kings.
Royal Challengers Bangalore had a golden opportunity for a top two finish but their loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad has changed things. Even if they win this match and Chennai Super Kings lose their last match, Bangalore are unlikely to leapfrog Chennai due to their inferior net run rate.
Time to experiment?
There is a possibility that both teams will try a few bench players in order to open different permutations and combinations in team selection for the playoffs.
However, that remains quite unlikely as neither team would want to give away their precious momentum, even more so when there is a possibility that Delhi and Bangalore might come up against each other in the playoffs and they would not like to lose the psychological edge against the opposition.
Same XI likely
It has been a pleasant surprise that Royal Challengers Bangalore have gone in their last 3 matches without any changes to their XI. Bangalore are likely to stick to the same combination for this match as well.
Delhi Capitals have been waiting for the return of Marcus Stoinis who injured his hamstring early on in the second stage of IPL 2021. But, they are not expected to risk the Australian all-rounder in an inconsequential match and Steve Smith or Ripal Patel will get a game in Stoinis' place.
Predicted playing XIs
Delhi Capitals - Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Steve Smith/Ripal Patel, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Dan Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, George Garton, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal
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