Gujarat Titans and Sunrisers Hyderabad paint pictures of contrast ahead of their Monday's contest in Ahmedabad.
While the Titans will seal a playoffs spot if they manage to win on their home turf, for the Sunrisers, a victory is a must for survival. If Aiden Markram's team win, they will not only stay alive — even though their chances of advancing will still be remote — they will also perhaps disturb equations for the other playoffs contenders.
But a Sunrisers win looks extremely difficult against Hardik Pandya's Titans. The defending champions have had a fantastic season yet again and even though they have lost two of their last four games, they are comfortably placed in the points table.
Sunrisers though will search for chinks in the Titans' armour, more so after Pandya's side's loss in the last game against Mumbai Indians. The usually solid batting unit of the Titans failed to fire against Mumbai and it was only because of Rashid Khan's blitzkrieg at the end that they did not suffer a heavy loss.
Titans' bowling, their main strength, also did not perform to desired standards against the big hitters in the Mumbai batting line-up. Pacer Mohammed Shami, who has been brilliant this IPL season, had an off day, while the others too failed to find their feet.
But quality performers like Shami, Rashid and even Noor Ahmad, the new Afghan spin sensation, know how to make a turnaround and captain Pandya will therefore hope to confirm their playoffs berth on Monday itself.
But can the Sunrisers can conjure up some magic to stun the home team?
■ Gujarat Titans vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, 7.30pm. Live on Star Sports & Jio Cinema