Date: 14 April 2021
Time: 7:30 pm (IST)
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
The Indian Premier League is off to a rocking start and well into the first week now it is quite clear why this T20 tournament is rated one of the best in the world. On Thursday, it will be the Sunrisers Hyderabad vs the Royal Challengers Bangalore in yet another exciting encounter in the tournament. While Bangalore would be high on confidence after a 2-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their first game, Sunrisers Hyderabad succumbed to a 10-run defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders in their campaign opener.
After their win over MI, RCB captain Virat Kohli admitted that it was important for them to start with a win against the best team in the competition and having done that they would have the belief that they can beat any opposition on their day. Teams winning the toss are looking to chase so far in the tournament and that is Virat and Bangalore’s strength as well but after having failed to chase even with 5-wickets in hand, will the Orange Army gamble batting second again?
It could well be a battle between RCB’s batting against SRH’s bowling as there is little doubt over the lack of depth in SRH’s batting after David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey. But given the way RCB bowled at the death to Mumbai, first glimpses hinted towards a better balanced Bangalore squad and they may start with their noses ahead heading into this game.
Youngster Devdutt Padikkal who had to miss out from the team’s opening game as a precautionary measure immediately after recovering from COVID-19 is expected to be back in the team. Other than that, there shouldn’t be too many changes in the RCB setup given almost everything fell in place against MI. Virat and Glenn Maxwell would look to take their team home next time they get set and are at a similar situation rather than relying on some AB de Villiers’ magic every time.
The big question for SRH would be whether Kane Williamson has regained fitness. Trevor Bayliss had confirmed that Williamson wasn’t fit for the first match which was the reason he wasn’t included in the team. If however, Williamson, isn’t yet match-fit would SRH stick to the same batting line up or will it be the Warner-Bairstow duo at the top which has been so successful for them in the past. These are the questions the Orange Army think tank would need to answer before taking on Bangalore.
Head to Head:
The dashing stroke-maker is an absolute match winner and his form is vital for the Orange Army. Once Warner gets going at the top of the order, suddenly the rest of the batting looks all the more strong and reliable. However, if the southpaw departs early it will leave perhaps a little too much to do for the middle and lower middle order. Warner would be the key yet again.
Maxwell has been one of the biggest enigmas in IPL cricket. Not only has he been inconsistent with his performances but he has equally been consistent with the big price money he attracts despite failing. At number 4 in RCB, Maxwell looked better, at least during his short stay, and with the likes of ABD and Dan Christian to follow, he can afford to get in before unleashing the Big Show mode.
Probable Playing XI
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma