Royal Challengers Bangalore will have to play some really outstanding cricket if they have to beat table toppers Kings XI Punjab at M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.
As things stand now, RCB have not beaten KXIP in their last four outings. Punjab have six wins and one loss from seven matches while Bangalore have won three and lost four.
With odds stacked highly against them coupled with the indifferent form of captain Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh, RCB have more worries than their opponents.
Another major worry is opener Chris Gayle not being fully fit. On the eve of the match, RCB think-tank exuded confidence that the Jamaican would recover ahead of the match.
On the other hand, Punjab have got everything going in their favour. Their batting, spearheaded by Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, looks extremely strong. Just two days back in Cuttack, Maxwell sent Chennai Super Kings' bowling on a leather hunt with a breathtaking 90.
The highest scorer in the tournament so far, Maxwell is in superb nick and if he continues his devastating form, RCB bowlers will have a tough time.
RCB all-rounder Albie Morkel tried to put up a brave face on the eve of the match. "Punjab are playing well this year. We need to take it game by game. We haven't reached our peak yet. Hopefully that happens on Friday. We also have a good record at home. There's definitely more pressure on them than us."
The hosts may have a good record here but what is worrying is their away record. Of the seven matches left, RCB will have to win at least five to be in race for a place in the knock-out.
"We keep reiterating that we can beat any team on any day on any field. We just need to take it game by game and not look too far into the future. We've been doing so many things right. The bowling unit hasn't clicked. We need to play our best in the next seven games."