Both Bangalore and Hyderabad will look to score enough runs to be competitive while their bowling looks in reasonable order. (BCCI)
Royal Challengers Bangalore started IPL 7 as one of the hot favourites but three consecutive defeats has been a reality-check for them, and they would want to get their act together in their first home game of the season when they meet Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.
RCB and Hyderabad have had somewhat similar run in the tournament so far, with Bangalore just above them on the leaderboard on net run-rate.
Bangalore's success, like in the previous seasons, remains dependent on their explosive batting line-up led by Chris Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli, along with Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers, but still they haven't scored the runs to win consistently.
They won their first two matches to start the season, but have lost the next three to end their UAE leg on a sorry note. The team will hope that home conditions bring the luck back for them, as it did for Mumbai Indians who returned to winning ways at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday with a win against Kings XI Punjab.
Gayle missed the first four matches of for RCB and returned with a 20-run blast in an over. In the past, RCB have won mostly when the Jamaican fired at the top, though players like Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers are proven match-winners; however, they haven't produced the runs expected of them.
The team was bowled out for their lowest score of 70 by Rajasthan Royals and then limited to 124 for 8 by Kings XI Punjab, which is in start contrast to the batting talent they have in their ranks.
RCB's bowling, which was considered by many to be weak, has fared better than their batting despite not having big totals at their back to defend. Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been the surprise package with seven wickets from five games.
Hyderabad's situation isn't impressive either with two wins from five matches so far. Only their Australian recruits Aaron Finch and David Warner have left a mark with the bat, though Lokesh Rahul showed his talent with 46 off 40 balls in the game against Mumbai.
Shikhar Dhawan's silent bat has hurt the the team big time as they rely on him for good starts at the top and the middle order has been almost non-existent, with Darren Sammy lower down the order not doing the damage he has been known to inflict.
Like RCB, Hyderabad's bowlers have done better than the batsmen. Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have led the pace department with consistent performances, with Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma bowling their legspin effectively.
In the end, it would be a fair assessment that both the teams will look to score enough runs to be competitive while their bowling looks in reasonable order.