In a rematch of the opening fixture of IPL 2017, a beleaguered Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in match 29. Both these teams go into this head-to-head tussle on the back of defeats and because of the nature of their defeats, this match could be a psychological test as much as a test of their skills.
Royal Challengers were bowled out for the lowest total in the history of the IPL on Sunday night, and are a side whose strongest suit, their batting, has been a major letdown so far this season. And, RCB could not have had a more inappropriate time to play Sunrisers, who possess one of the potent bowling attacks in the league.
The Bhuvneshwar Kumar-led Sunrisers’ bowling attack might think that they had an off evening on Saturday, when an MS Dhoni match-finishing masterclass made David Warner’s men suffer a third straight defeat away from Hyderabad. Tonight’s visitors, however, are a lot more settled than the hosts.
Form guide: RCB vs SRH
RCB vs SRH Head-to-head
Sunrisers won their meeting against Royal Challengers at the start of this season, to let the head-to-head record stand at 6-4 ahead of tonight’s encounter. Bangalore, though, have beaten Sunrisers thrice at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, to Sunrisers’s two wins.
Match 29: RCB vs SRH Playing XI
Royal Challengers fielded what’s arguably their best playing XI, against KKR, and still failed to play to potential or get the desired result. The batsmen, in particular, have to do a lot better if RCB have to reach the playoffs. The bowling, on the other hand, has done reasonably well, though you cannot put your money on the RCB bowling attack entirely.
Mandeep Singh has been a serial failure with the bat and his continued inclusion in the side has baffled me. In what could be a slightly changed Royal Challengers side for the home clash against Sunrisers, Mandeep might make way for Harpreet Singh or Sachin Baby.
The rest of the RCB team who played against Kolkata are expected to be stuck with for the first of two home matches for the three-time finalists.
RCB’s probable playing XI vs SRH: 1. Virat Kohli (c), 2. Chris Gayle, 3. AB de Villiers, 4. Kedar Jadhav (wicketkeeper), 5. Mandeep Singh/Harpreet Singh/Sachin Baby, 6. Stuart Binny, 7. Pawan Negi, 8. Samuel Badree, 9. Tymal Mills, 10. Sreenath Aravind, and 11. Yuzvendra Chahal
For match 29 and their 8th of this season, Sunrisers could have two veteran Indian players back playing for them after missing the last few matches due to an injury and illness. Ashish Nehra had neck spasm, which has kept him out of the Sunrisers’s playing XI for the last three matches and Yuvraj Singh was unwell for his team’s last match against Rising Pune Supergiant. We’ve heard that this duo trained, a day ahead of the match.
Nehra might come in place of Mohammed Siraj, who has taken three wickets in the last two matches but been expensive as well. Yuvraj’s place was taken by Bipul Sharma for the match against Pune, and he bowled a tidy spell of left-arm orthodox spin, going for 30 runs and taking one wicket in four overs. But, with Kane Williamson, David Warner, Moises Henriques, and Rashid Khan settled and doing well, Bipul might be sacrificed for the fit-again Yuvraj.
SRH’s probable playing XI vs RCB: 1. David Warner (c), 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Kane Williamson, 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. Moises Henriques, 6. Naman Ojha, 7. Deepak Hooda, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Ashish Nehra, and 11. Siddarth Kaul