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Preview: M1 – SRH vs RCB

Match 1: SRH vs RCB

What

Vivo IPL 2017 will begin with a repeat of last season’s final; defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad will host last season’s runner-up Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have retained the core of the team that won the title last season and are further boosted by the acquisition of a few exciting players at the player auction prior to the season. There will particularly be several eyeballs closely following the performance of the two Afghanistan players – Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, who are appearing in the IPL for the first time.

Royal Challengers Bangalore will start with a distinct disadvantage, in that they will miss their captain and last season’s Orange Cap winner ViratKohli. The team will also miss the services of the dangerous AB de Villiers, from who will miss the opener to give him more time to recap from injury he is carrying, and the prolific KL Rahul,w ho will undergo a surgery on his shoulder. RCB have been counted among the favourites at the start of every season, but are yet to win any silverware despite the formidable sides they have fielded over the years. The same holds good this season too; they have a solid looking team this season too and will be desperate to go the distance. The RCB management have made two exciting additions to their squad; the franchise splurged Rupees Twelve Crore to acquire the services of Tymal Mills, apart from signing up the 6ft 7in tall Australian speedster Billy Stanlake.

When

05 April 2017, 2000 Hrs IST

Where

Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad

The Protagonists

 
Sunrisers will hope one of the two left-handers at the top of their batting line-up – David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan – can play a big innings. On the bowling front, SRH will look towards Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneswar Kumar (who was last season’s highest wicket-taker) to cause plenty of damage with the ball. One expects SRH will also offer an IPL debut to young Afghan star Rashid Khan, for the teenager has been in terrific form in these last few months.

Given that RCB will be missing several heavyweights, the team will need Chris Gayle and stand-in captain Shane Watson to step up and do plenty of damage with the bat. There will be plenty of expectations of KedarJadhav, after his exploits with the bat earlier this home season; the Maharashtra batsman didn’t have too much to do last season, but his stock has risen since and he has delivered the goods against formidable opponents at the international level. On the bowling front, RCB will want Tymal Mills to do plenty of damage in his four overs.

Match within the match

Tymal Mills against David Warner promises to make for a mouth-watering contest. Warner had a largely forgettable Test series against India and he will be keen to get back among the runs, while Mills will be pumped to make a good first impression and justify his hefty salary.

Head to Head

Overall: Matches played – 9, SRH Won – 5, RCB Won – 4

Matches in Hyderabad: Matches played – 4, SRH Won – 3, RCB Won - 1

Trivia

David Warner has scored 7 half-centuries in the seven matches he has played for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Royal Challengers Bangalore. His sequence of scores against RCB reads: 61, 59, 57, 52*, 58, 92 & 69.

What Next

Up next against Sunrisers Hyderabad are the Gujarat Lions; the match will be played in Hyderabad on April 9 at 4p.m. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s next outing is scheduled for 8 April 2017; they play the first of their home matches on Sunday when they take on the Delhi Daredevils at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

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