Virat Kohli’s dominant form has helped Royal Challengers Bangalore into the play-offs and they will be aiming to reach the finals when they take on Gujarat Lions in the first Qualifier in Bangalore.
RCB seem to have struck form at just the right time and after a not-so-impressive start to the season, the Kohli-led side has dished out four clinical performances to beat the Lions (by 144 runs), Kolkata Knight Riders (by 9 wickets), Kings XI Punjab (by 82 runs D/L method) and Delhi Daredevils (by 6 wickets) to seal their top-four place.
The biggest hero for RCB this season has been skipper Kohli, who is perhaps enjoying the best phase of his batting career.
Kohli has so far amassed a record 919 runs in the ongoing IPL with four centuries and six fifties at a staggering average of 91.90.
Kohli has also been an impressive captain and infused confidence in the team after a disappointing start. At one point of time, qualifying for the play-offs looked a distant dream, but the captain made it possible with his glorious batting and leadership qualities.
Gujarat defeated RCB by six wickets in their opening meeting this season before suffering the 144-run loss in the next tie.
And the Suresh Raina-led side will be eyeing sweet revenge for the embarrassing defeat to head straight into the final of their maiden IPL appearance.
In contrast to RCB, Gujarat made a rampaging start to the season before facing a late slump.
In Aaron Finch (339 runs from 11 games), Brendon McCullum (321 from 14), Dwayne Smith (250 from 10), Raina (397 from 13), Dinesh Karthik (283) and Darren Bravo, Gujarat too have a formidable batting line-up.
In the bowling department, Gujarat have depended on the pace duo of Bravo and Dhawal Kulkarni. While Bravo has 15 wickets against his name, Kulkarni has managed 14 scalps so far.