About the Match
The tenth edition of Indian Premier League
is just under a week and a half away and things are already beginning to pan out beautifully. IPL will begin with the finalists of 2016 edition locking horns on 5th April at Hyderabad. Sunrisers Hyderabad is the defending champion and will be looking to start off well against title favorites, Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB, despite coming close to winning the trophy on numerous occasions, is yet to win the trophy. It was Sunrisers' bowling which took it to final in the previous edition and on the other hand, it was the batting for RCB. With one team having the likes of Gayle, de Villiers and Kohli and the other having the likes of Bhuvneshwar and Musafizur, we are surely in for what could be a fitting inauguration of much-awaited IPL 2017
It was all about bowlers and David Warner for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016. They've bolstered their squad with some handy picks in the auction. Their batting lineup consists of David Warner, Yuvraj Singh, Shikhar Dhawan and Moises Henriques. Yuvraj Singh's looked in terrific touch when he played for India recently and his form will provide much-needed confidence to their middle-order. Shikhar Dhawan has been out of Indian squad and this IPL could be a stage for him to present his case for selection for Champions Trophy.
It was their bowling which won them the title in the previous edition. Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the attack with Ben Cutting and Mustafizur Rahman to assist. However, due to International commitment, Mustafizur will be out of the team for this match with Bangladesh playing against Sri Lanka. They got Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan in the auction and they both were brilliant in their matches against Ireland.
Sunrisers Hyderabad started off as underdogs in the last edition, but thanks to their last year's performance and good picks in the auction, they start the tournament as one of the stronger sides. They'll certainly miss the variations of Mustafizur and if their bowlers are able to fill this void, they can certainly cause some troubles for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
With the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, and of course Indian skipper, who all have huge fan-following in India, RCB definitely is the fan-favorite side of this IPL. RCB has the batting lineup which can destroy best of the bowling on any given day. Virat Kohli's shoulder injury will be of some concern, but he has shown positive signs of recovery and might well be up and available for the first game of the season. AB de Villiers has been in terrific form since making his return to the Protean squad. Chris Gayle did not score well in PSL and his form will worry the management.
Statistically, it's their bowling which has lost them matches time and again and they've added Tymal Mills to cope up with it. Their bowlers leaked as many as 208 runs in the '16 Final which arguably lost them the match. With Shane Watson fully fit and Tymal Mills added to the team, their bowling certainly looks stronger. Yuzvendra Chahal and Pawan Negi will have to keep things tight in the middle overs.
All in all, RCB is all about batting. Although their bowling is stronger than last year's, it still has some voids to be filled. Their batting will once again have to do the cover-up job and if their batting is even a shadow of what it is on paper, RCB could really be a tough team to beat.
IPL is one of the most followed events as far as sports in India is concerned and fans are eagerly waiting for the season to kick off. Both the teams are strong in their respective departments; RCB will be looking up to their batsmen to do bulk of the work whereas Sunrisers' bowlers will be looking to stop RCB's batsmen. There's no denying that Sunrisers Hyderabad is a strong unit, but with Mustafizur Rahman missing this game and David Warner in not-so-good form, Royal Challengers Bangalore surely has the upper hand in the opening encounter of Indian Premier League, 2017