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It’s all on them as Royal Challengers battle plucky Super Giants in the Eliminator

“We needed another team. Now it’s all up to us,” said Glenn Maxwell as Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrated making the play-offs. It’s a feeling that would have really resonated with his teammates. Everyone appreciates a second chance, but players of the quality of Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis and Josh Hazlewood usually know exactly what to do to make the most of it. Kohli in particular will be happy to have something tangible to play for, especially now that he’s finally in shape.

By building a team of all-rounders, Lucknow Super Giants have been able to find their way out of many tough spots, but the one thing they haven’t been able to shake off is an extreme confidence in their top order. KL Rahul (537 runs at 48.8), Quinton de Kock (502 runs at 38.6) and Deepak Hooda (406 runs at 31.2) have a lineup where the others collectively only have 789 runs at 17.2 contributed.

A weakness that would have knocked many teams out of the playoff battle, but Super Giants are here because their bowling was exceptional. They took 96 wickets in the competition phase with an average of 23.8 and a stroke rate of 17.1. They are number 1 in each of those stats.

Krunal Pandya missed the last Super Giants league game with a glitch. He has had almost a week of recovery time. If it’s not a serious injury, he should be back in the playing XI.

Harshal Patel split the web of his bowling hand and his stitches came out on Tuesday. He should be fit for the game, he said on the team’s YouTube channel. If he doesn’t make it, Akash Deep can take his place.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Mahipal Lomror, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Shahbaz Ahmed, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Harshal Patel/Akash Deep, 10 Josh Hazlewood , 11 Mohammed Siraj

Lucknow Super Giants: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 KL Rahul (capt), 3 Deepak Hooda, 4 Krunal Pandya, 5 Ayush Badoni, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Jason Holder, 8 Avesh Khan, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Mohsin Khan, 11 Ravi Bishnoic

Maxwell had a pretty good time bowling to Rahul in T20 cricket: 23 balls, 23 runs and two wickets. Royal Challengers hope the trend continues on Wednesday.

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