AB de Villiers (left) and Virat Kohli will be crucial for RCB in IPL 2014 © IANS
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Apr 16, 2014
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 bandwagon moves to Sharjah with the Delhi Daredevils (DD) taking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the second game of the tournament. After years, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium will host a match which involves a lot of Indian players. There would be a touch of the yesteryear and the modern-day sport when the IPL game would be held at the familiar venue. There would be some excitement as well considering the fact that the tournament is new in the country and reports suggest that the matches are sold out.
The big news before the game is that Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the match due to a finger injury. In his place, Dinesh Karthik will take over the reins of leadership and this will be some task for him. There are many international heavyweights in the side and it would be interesting to see whom Delhi pick as they have many options. Karthik will have a bigger role to play with Pietersen out of the game as there would be the added burden of captaincy.
Some of the key batsmen for Delhi in the batting department are Murali Vijay, JP Duminy and Ross Taylor. These three should be fixtures in the line-up. With Pietersen out, Quinton de Kock might just get a game with Jimmy Neesham being used as the all-rounder lower down the order. And, in the bowling, Delhi would mainly bank on their Indian roster. Mohammed Shami will lead the way and Jaydev Unadkat may also come in. Shahbaz Nadeem would continue the spinning duties as he has had a successful time with Delhi in the past. And, to help him out, there would be Rahul Sharma. Manoj Tiwary and Saurabh Tiwary will be crucial in the batting order.
But, instead of Neesham, it may be a better ploy to play Wayne Parnell, who is a stronger bowler. That may just give more teeth to the bowling attack.
Bangalore have a settled top five. Chris Gayle is the main weapon and they would hope he fires soon in this tournament. In all likelihood, Parthiv Patel will open the batting with Gayle and he would be someone who may perhaps hold one end. And then comes the formidable middle-order in AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh.
But, the real question for Bangalore is about the four foreign players. Gayle and de Villiers are certainties and they have others to choose from. Albie Morkel could be a good bet as he is an able all-rounder and can contribute in all departments. Mitchell Starc or Ravi Rampaul may take the next spot as they would want an overseas fast bowler. But then there would also be a temptation to play Muttiah Muralitharan. Thus, there are many spots open in the Bangalore team, particularly in the bowling.
Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), JP Duminy, Ross Taylor, Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Milind Kumar, Jimmy Neesham, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Shukla, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Laxi Ratan Shukla, Kedar Jadhav, Siddharth Kaul, Rahul Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel (wk), Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mitchell Starc, Ravi Rampaul, Vijay Zol, Sachin Rana, Yogesh Takawale, Nic Maddinson, Sandeep Warrier, Tanmay Mishra, Harshal Patel, Shadab Jakati, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT
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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)