Royal Challengers Bangalore’s campaign has been dented prior to the start as they take on defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first match of Indian Premier League 2017.
Bangalore will be without captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the first match. Kohli has been ruled out for at least a week due to a shoulder injury, while de Villiers is nursing a back problem. It doesn’t end here with opener KL Rahul also been ruled out and in addition youngster Sarfaraz Khan may also miss the entire season after hurting himself in a practice match in Bengaluru.
Shane Watson will be the stand-in skipper for RCB in Kohli’s absence and not to forget Chris Gayle, who will be under pressure to give the team a breezy start. In absence of top players, RCB will heavily depend on Gayle, Watson and Kedar Jadhav along with experienced IPL campaigners in Travis Head, Sachin Baby and Mandeep Singh.
RCB at the players’ auction bought English paceman Tymal Mills to strengthen their bowling and all eyes will be on him. Another key player would be legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who thrives in the shortest format of the game. The presence of Samuel Badree, Adam Milne and Aniket Choudhary also make RCB a formidable bowling unit.
On the other hand, Hyderabad will be keen to repeat their last year’s show in order with captain David Warner leading from the front. However, Warner had not been in best of form coming into IPL, but a batsman of his caliber can turn things around in a completely different format.
Shikhar Dhawan, out of the national side would be eager to make a mark with the Champions Trophy coming up after the IPL. The middle order is too star studded with Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson and Moises Henriques. The Hyderabad side bat deep with Naman Ojha, Deepak Hooda and Vijay Shankar coming down the order.
Hyderabad will be without Mustafizur Rahman in Wednesday’s match but the team can fall back on Ashish Nehra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Barinder Sran and Henriques. In the player’ auction they have bagged a surprise package in legspinner Rashid Khan from Afghanistan.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Shane Watson (C), Sreenath Aravind, Avesh Khan, Samuel Badree, Stuart Binny, Yuzvendra Chahal, Aniket Choudhary, Praveen Dubey, Chris Gayle, Travis Head, Iqbal Abdulla, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Tymal Mills, Adam Milne, Pawan Negi, Harshal Patel, Sachin Baby, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Billy Stanlake.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Tanmay Agarwal, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Ben Cutting, Shikhar Dhawan, Eklavya Dwivedi, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ben Laughlin, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammed Siraj, Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha (wk), Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Barinder Sran, Pravin Tambe, Kane Williamson and Yuvraj Singh.