Virat Kohli will begin his go after an elusive IPL title when perennial under-achievers Royal Challengers Bangalore combat David Warner’s low profile but consistent Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening IPL encounter here on Monday.
Both teams possess dangerous batsmen who can single-handedly take the sport faraway from the opposition.
Kohli has always led from the front but he knows his look for a maiden title will remain incomplete if the team doesn’t perform altogether departments.
The addition of Australian limited overs captain Aaron Finch to the squad gives the star-studded batting line up more firepower. Expectations also are high from highly rated young opener Devdutt Padikal.
On the opposite hand, Warner, whose exploits within the IPL include winning the ‘Orange Cap’ thrice and leading his side to a maiden title triumph in 2016, will once more pair up with the damaging Jonny Bairstow.
The formidable opening duo, that shattered multiple records including the very best opening partnership in IPL history against RCB last season, will hope to emulate the previous edition’s exploits. Sunrisers even have the batting prowess of Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mitchell Marsh and Fabian Allen.
Following a nightmarish 2019 season once they finished last, RCB seem to possess far better balance but there ability to hit late within the innings is yet to be tested.
Sunrisers’ blind spot also lies within the lack of depth in their card . The franchise has invested in youngsters like Virat Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg, and Abdul Samad and therefore the management within the hopes that one among them could become the vital cog within the middle order.
A team that’s known for its depth and variation in bowling, Sunrisers’ core unit remains unchanged. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace department with Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul and Basil Thampi playing secondary roles.
Armed with presence of the highest T20 bowler Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan and no.1 all-rounder within the format Mohammad Nabi, who was during a terrific form within the recently-concluded CPL, Sunrisers have one among the simplest spin bowling attacks within the tournament. They even have left-armer Shahbaz Nadeem.
RCB also boasts of a potent spin unit, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will again be the key as he has been over the past seasons with Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Adam Zampa and Moeen Ali lending more options.
RCB have also addressed the difficulty of their weak death bowling that plagued their campaign last season. The franchise has bought South African bowling all-rounder Chris Morris.
At the helm of each side are Australians, Sunrisers have appointed Trevos Baylis, who guided England to their maiden ODI World Cup title last year, as coach, RCB has placed its faith in Simon Katich to steer them.