The 8pm match on April 8, the fifth of IPL 2017, sees the two most injury-hit outfits—Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Daredevils (DD)—face off at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, looking to make sure that the loss and current absence of key personnel do not impede them from getting the desired result.
Tonight’s hosts, RCB, showed against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday night, that they are quite an ordinary side when their playing XI does not feature superstars like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, in particular. Of course, their ground fielding and catching cost them an additional 40-50 runs and needless to say, the Royal Challengers need to tighten up in this area. But as a batting unit, their middle order lacked the firepower and Sunrisers’ 207/4 proved to be simply too much.
Delhi Daredevils are, in a stark contrast to most of the IPL outfits, bowling-heavy, and that is even if the likes of Quinton de Kock and Jean-Paul Duminy, who are out of the 10th edition of this tournament, had come over and were set to play as the first-choice personnel.
The Daredevils have an exciting bowling attack which is conspicuous because of the presence of two young and genuinely quick bowlers from Australia and South Africa (Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada). Although Cummins and Rabada are highly unlikely to play together, Zaheer Khan’s style of managing his fast bowling resources will be one aspect you must keep an eye on.
The Probable Playing XI: Royal Challengers (RCB) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD)
During RCB’s season opener against SRH on Wednesday, Virat Kohli said that he will return to action only when he’s 120% fit. Meaning, he is not yet available for selection.
The next big question has to be whether de Villiers will play Royal Challengers’ first match at home, against Delhi. The answer is, de Villiers is a doubt for tonight’s match.
Against Sunrisers, RCB fielded what is arguably their best playing XI in the absences of Lokesh Rahul, Kohli, de Villiers, and the young Sarfaraz Khan. Yes, they could probably have played Pawan Negi instead of Stuart Binny, but Royal Challengers’ XI wasn’t a bad pick overall.
I think RCB might well stick with the playing XI they fielded on Wednesday, against DD tonight: 1. Shane Watson*, 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Mandeep Singh, 4. Travis Head, 5. Kedar Jadhav (WK), 6. Stuart Binny, 7. Sachin Baby, 8. Aniket Choudhary, 9. Sreenath Aravind, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, and 11. Tymal Mills
Actual playing XI for RCB: 1. Shane Watson*, 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Mandeep Singh, 4. Billy Stanlake, 5. Kedar Jadhav (WK), 6. Stuart Binny, 7. Pawan Negi, 8. Vishnu Vinod, 9. Iqbal Abdulla, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, and 11. Tymal Mills
Delhi Daredevils were the busiest on the IPL 2017 auction day, as they splashed the cash and brought in nine players, four of whom are foreign players (Angelo Mathews, Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada, and Pat Cummins) who will be integral to their season. Angelo Mathews is certain to miss the first few matches of the 10th edition of the IPL due to an ankle injury which he picked up in January 2017, during Srilanka’s full tour of South Africa.
In addition to de Kock and JP Duminy, DD are also without Shreyas Iyer, who is down with chickenpox and will miss the first week or so of this campaign.
Amid such injury and health problems to their players, DD have quite a settled line-up overall. They possess quality Indian and overseas batsmen, a couple of genuine T20 all-rounders and as aforementioned, a good bowling attack.
Taking the different dimensions of the injury-hit DD squad into account, here’s what I believe will be Daredevils’ playing XI vs RCB: 1. Zaheer Khan (C), 2. Ankit Bawne, 3. Sam Billings, 4. Sanju Samson, 5. Karun Nair, 6. Corey Anderson, 7. Rishabh Pant, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Amit Mishra, 10. Shahbaz Nadeem, and 11. Kagiso Rabada
Actual playing for Daredevils: 1. Zaheer Khan (C), 2. Aditya Tare, 3. Sam Billings, 4. Sanju Samson, 5. Karun Nair, 6. Pat Cummins, 7. Rishabh Pant, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Amit Mishra, 10. Shahbaz Nadeem, and 11. Carlos Brathwaite