Bengaluru: Virat Kohli’s inspirational leadership for Royal Challengers Bangalore will be up against the brute force with which David Warner has steered Sunrisers Hyderabad when the two teams, eyeing their maiden IPL title, square off in a high-intensity summit clash here tomorrow.
RCB, however, will have a slight advantage over Sunrisers as they have the experience of playing in an IPL final twice in the past — 2009 and 2011, but on both occasions, they had finished runners-up.
Sunrisers’ best finish was a play-off berth which they managed in their debut season in 2013. RCB witnessed a topsy-turvy campaign initially and were in a real spot of bother at one stage. They needed to win their last four games to make it to the play-offs and the Bangalore outfit didn’t just achieve that but also recorded their first straight win to get a shot at the final for a third time.
The momentum with them, RCB would be determined to make the opportunity count by winning the coveted T20 tournament, having missed the chance twice in the past. RCB struck form just at the right time and and dished out five clinical performances to beat the Lions (by 144 runs), Kolkata Knight Riders (by 9 wickets), Kings XI Punjab (by 82 runs D/L method), Delhi Daredevils (by 6 wickets) and Gujarat (by 4 wickets) again in the Qualifier 1 to seal their place in the title clash.
Kohli and AB de Villiers have been the cynosure of all eyes for RCB with their batsmanship. Kohli has also been an impressive captain and infused confidence in the team after a disappointing start. At a time when qualifying for the play-offs looked a distant dream for RCB, Kohli made it possible with his glorious batting and leadership qualities.
Without doubt, Kohli seems to be enjoying the best form of his career so far and is the highest run-getter in the tournament, amassing 919 runs from 15 games, which includes six fifties and four centuries with 113 being his highest score. De Villiers, on the other hand, is the third highest scorer in the league with 682 runs under his belt with, including one century and six half-centuries.