IPL 2017, SRH v RCB: 5 winning factors
RCB are at their weakest, without Kohli, AB de Villiers and Rahul. SRH might take this even without Mustafizur!
Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad couldn’t have asked for a better start to their campaign. The defending champions go up against IPL’s perpetual under-achievers Royal Challengers Bangalore in a repeat of last year’s final in the IPL 2017 opener. However, RCB aren’t RCB without their top two batsmen – Virat Kohli, who is still nursing a shoulder injury and AB de Villiers, who will miss the season opener because of injury as well, will considerably hamper the batting strength of RCB.
That leaves Shane Watson with the tough task of being the commander of a severely beleaguered side. Watson’s troubles are further exacerbated by the absence of two first choice Indian players – KL Rahul, out due to an injury he nursed during the Test series and young Sarfaraz Khan, who injured himself during a practice game.
With the bat
For RCB to win, Chris Gayle has to go bonkers, but he hasn’t done well in the past at Hyderabad, which is where the IPL 2017 opening game is going to be played. Watson showed excellent form in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League, which means he is still quite capable of leading from the front. Kedar Jadhav, who was sensational for India in the ODIs against England, is another batsman RCB will rely heavily on to get the runs in the middle order.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were successful last year because of David Warner’s unbelievable consistency. Warner’s 324 runs last season at home came at a stupendous average of 54 while the strike-rate is still astronomical at 160. If Warner thrives, RCB haven’t got a chance.
In terms of batting, the Sunrisers need one of the three to fire big time – Yuvraj Singh, Shikhar Dhawan or David Warner. Dhawan scored a century in the Deodhar Trophy, a fluent one at that and one hopes he is on a roll in the IPL, given he would like to keep his ODI spot for the Champions Trophy, having lost his Test opener’s slot to KL Rahul.