IPL 2020 Match 3 Preview: SRH vs RCB - Virat and ABD confident of new beginnings as Warner's Orange Army awaits
Royal Challengers Bangalore may not have been very successful in the IPL over the years, finishing at the bottom of the table twice in the last three years, but they remain box office superstars.
Skipper Virat Kohli has been repeatedly saying in the lead-up to RCB's first match of the tournament that the team is looking the most balanced since 2016. With new coaches in Michael Hesson and Simon Katich, the team is not carrying any baggage of the past.
Finch and Morris bolster Bangalore
The thoughts have been echoed by AB de Villiers as well. de Villiers and Kohli remain the backbone of the side, but what will win them matches are the performances that come from elsewhere.
The prime candidates for that are Aaron Finch, who is expected to open the batting with Devdutt Padikkal, Chris Morris, who will play the tough roles of both the finisher and the death bowler and Dale Steyn, whose experience can be priceless for the franchise.
ABD, the gloveman?
A big consideration for the team is whether or not they decide to give the wicket-keeping duties to AB de Villiers. This will allows Royal Challengers Bangalore to play Devdutt Padikkal at the top of the order, who has been in red-hot form in whatever domestic cricket he has played of late.
Indian players have to fire for RCB to click
The weak link for Royal Challengers Bangalore is their middle order batting. After AB de Villiers, who will bat at 4, they will either have to go in with Gurkeerat Singh Mann or Shivam Dube, both of whom have not proven their credentials at the IPL level yet.
Navdeep Saini and Umesh Yadav are expected to be the Indian pace bowling options for the team while Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal provide them with very good spin options.
SRH a tad weak on paper
Sunrisers Hyderabad have a weaker team as compared to Bangalore, but they have made the most of their resources over the past few years. The onus would be on captain and opening batsman David Warner to get Hyderabad off to a good start which will be a prerequisite for Hyderabad's success.
Warner will get the support of England's Jonny Bairstow. While the team does have Manish Pandey, who is expected to bat at three or four, the other middle order batsmen are inexperienced. Hyderabad are likely to go with Virat Singh at three while Vijay Shankar will take another spot in the middle order. Either of Abdul Samad or Abhishek Sharma will play the finisher's role for SRH.
Hyderabad's Afghan spin duo
While Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan will provide their bowling attack with potency, either of Basil Thampi or Sandeep Sharma will accompany Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed to round off the SRH bowling attack.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) - Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(wk), Gurkeerat Singh Mann/Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) - Jonny Bairstow(wk), David Warner(c), Virat Singh, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad/Abhishek Sharma, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Basil Thampi/Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel
© Cricket World 2020