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By R Vishal
May 3, 2014
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 striding towards the business end of the tournament, the 24th match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Bangalore will see a tie between two sides, who started IPL 7 on a positive note but have fallen on the wayside with a string of bad results recently.
Bangalore started IPL 2014 in style — winning two consecutive games on the bounce but have since lost three and desperately need a win to galvanise the spirits of their star studded side. Their inexplicable surrender in what was a certain victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) started the rut for Bangalore.
With the West Indian maverick Chris Gayle making his way back after an injury layoff, he should take the onus of inspiring Bangalore with one of his typical hell-for-leather knocks. Bangalore’s versatile geniuses, skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have not been amongst the runs and will look to start with a bang in India. The battle between the South African duo of Dale Steyn and de Villiers will be a one that’s eagerly awaited by the fans and should make for compelling viewing.
With two wins out of five, Hyderabad are in a similar position as Bangalore. Their performances have lacked a coherent structure as they are a setup that revolves around their international stars to lead them to victories. In their final game in the UAE against a toothless Mumbai Indians (MI) outfit, Hyderabad galloped to form with a plethora of contributors leading them to a thrilling win. While David Warner showed the form that he has been for Australia since the turn of the year, rookie Indian batsman KL Rahul did his reputation no harm by playing a steely innings.
Irfan Pathan’s stunning last over against Mumbai showed glimpses of what he can do with the ball when on song. The display should be good enough for Pathan to cement a place in the side for the forthcoming games. Aaron Finch remains one of the most dangerous players in T20s but it is Shikhar Dhawan’s lack of a big score that is unsettling for Hyderabad. The Hyderabad captain has been regularly found out in all the five games so far and has looked uncomfortable in the captaincy role at times.
Bowling and fielding are areas where Bangalore have scored over Hyderabad in the tournament so far. Varun Aaron has been exquisite with his lightening pace and the young spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been one of the finds of the IPL so far. Hyderabad’s India internationals Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma have been out of sorts and have failed to rally around the ever-reliable Steyn. With form trumping substance everyday of the week in such a tournament, Hyderabad hold the aces after their thrilling win against Mumbai. With that being said, Bangalore’s form at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium is excellent and one can’t rule the prospect of Kohli’s men roaring back to form in this fixture.
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.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Dale Steyn, David Warner, Darren Sammy, Amit Mishra, Aaron Finch, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Brendan Taylor, Moises Henriques, Venugopala Rao, Jason Holder, S Aniruddha, Manprit Juneja, KL Rahul, Amit Paunikar, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Ashish Reddy, Chama Milind, Parveez Rasool, Prashanth Parameshwaran, Karn Sharma.
(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)
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