His form had gone on vacation but arrived just back in time in Qualifier 1 vs Titans, although in a losing cause. How he negotiates the Powerplay and guides his sometimes-impetuous opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal will go a long way in dictating the pattern of play.
A chance to knock out the franchise for which he did a lot and yet was not retained? Expect the Purple Cap holder to have more fizz in his deliveries come Friday. He has a great match-up against the feared Glenn Maxwell
and the Royals will once again rely on their middle-overs banker to keep things quiet.
The demotion to No. 4 has worked well for this stylish left-hander. It has allowed him to unsettle spinners and make the middle overs more productive. Will he take on Wanindu Hasaranga?
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
He will be feeling like King Kong after what he did on Wednesday! The MP batsman looks at ease while playing spin or pace and hence can be difficult to contain. He will be a marked man by Trent Boult and Ravichandran Ashwin. Perhaps, he will also be a marked man for next year’s auctions by other franchises!
With every IPL game, this big Aussie is steadily shedding the tag of being only a red-ball bowler. A mix of slower, into-the-wicket balls, which often come at an awkward height during the slog overs, and seam-up deliveries early on make him a difficult customer to line up. 18 wickets in just 11 games proves his worth.
The Sri Lankan leggie has loads of courage. Apart from 25 wickets, he has the most dot balls for a wrist spinner: 132. The large Motera will be his ally. Watch out for the low round-arm delivery he has developed to confound batsmen.