New Delhi: In the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League's ninth edition, Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns with Gujarat Lions on Tuesday at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.
Virat Kohli-led RCB have proved that they have the fire-power to beat any team on a given day. And in the game against Gujarat, they will have the home advantage as well.
Despite a sporadic performance in the first half of the season, RCB came back hard in the 2nd half to make it to the playoffs.
On the other end, new franchise Gujarat have performed exceptionally well under the captaincy of Suresh Raina to finish at the top in the points table by winning nine out of their 14 games.
Before the high-profile clash, let's have a look at the players who could leave an impact in the result of the match.
Virat Kohli: It goes without saying that, Kohli is the man who has single-handedly helped his team seal a spot in the playoffs. He is going through a purple patch with the willow and will be a real threat for Gujarat. With over 900 IPL runs already under his belt this season, Kohli would love to carry forward his magnificent form in the crucial tie against the new franchise.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The skinny leg spinner has proved his skipper right time and again. At the moment, he is the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing edition with 19 wickets to his name. His sheer chutzpah to flight the ball consistently in this format has paid rich dividends for the bowler. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeves to fool a batsman. Gujarat batsmen would be wary of the tweaker in the match.
Suresh Raina: Under skipper Raina, the newly formed Gujarat team has played exceptionally well thus far. In their very first season, they have emerged as the title contenders and the credit goes to the skipper, who has handled the players well on and off the field. Raina has contributed with the bat at crucial junctures of the tournament. The skipper has to lead his side from the front against RCB to make sure that his team should make it to the finals, without much hassle.
Dwayne Smith: He has emerged as the star performer for Gujarat this season. The West Indian not just gave flying starts to his team up front but also provided crucial breakthroughs with the ball. Gujarat will once again rely heavily on the burly all-rounder while locking horns against RCB.