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IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - Preview

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 5, 2017, 6:43 PM IST

As an afterthought, we must promote our opening ceremony coverage which is ON currently and Amit Kumar is helming the updates.

IPL 2017 Opening Ceremony Live Updates: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad


Arnab and Baidurjo: Ravi 'tracer bullet' Shastri is already on the stage as the opening ceremony unfolds. Have a good time people. 


Arnab: RCB Likely XI: Gayle, Mandeep, Head, Watson, Kedar (wk), Sachin Baby, Binny, Chahal, Iqbal, Mills, Aravind.


Baidurjo: SRH Likely XI: Warner, Dhawan, Henriques, Yuvi, Hooda, Ojha (wk), Cutting, Bhuvi, Rashid, Tambe, Nehra 


Arnab: Ok then, let's call truce here as we also have a match to prepare for. May the best team win. Hope viewers of CricketNext enjoyed our little banter here and the way we tried to analyse the contest ahead. Time for us to give our likely Playing XIs


Baidurjo: For every Watson, SRH has a Bhuvi. He was the purple cap winner last season with 23 wickets in the tournament. And he will once again look to use this platform to not only help SRH defend the trophy successfully, but also stake a claim in the Indian team for the Champions Trophy that follows.


Arnab: Watson can still be a threat with the bat and he has always loved fighting fire with fire. Won't be too surprised if he tonks a few out of the park tonight itself. He has a good record against Sunrisers Hyderabad and the mantle of captaincy will only motivate him further.


Baidurjo: Funny to think that Kedar was ruled out of the Deodhar with an injury and Head had a very poor outing for Adelaide Strikers. Hope RCB knows who they are putting their money on to replace stalwarts like Kohli and ABD. 


Arnab: I don't think Nehra has a chance when it comes to someone like Gayle. Also, RCB has someone like Kedar Jadhav. He is a pocket-sized powerhouse and he showed his true ability in the limited-overs series against England. Along with Travis Head, Kedar forms a competitive combo in the middle-overs. And that will try to somewhat make up for the loss of Kohli and ABD.

Also, they are pros at using the willow to get quick runs in the slog overs.  


Baidurjo: We have our own weapon for the like of Gayle. You are forgetting the old warhorse in orange tonight. The name is Nehra, Ashish Nehra. Based on his performance for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, Nehra made a comeback into the Indian team at 37. He is still one of the best bets when it comes to the first six overs of a T20 game.


Arnab: Age is just a number my friend. And Chris Gayle will show that to the world right through this tournament. Let me throw some numbers at you. Gayle with 5 centuries has the most number of tons in IPL history. He is the third-best powerplay batsman with a strike-rate of 135.3 in the first 6 overs. Call him old at your own peril.


Baidurjo: No Virat Kohli, no AB de Villiers and an ageing Chris Gayle. Looks like you are fighting a lost battle here just like RCB will at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium tonight. Not to forget KL Rahul is also out of the tournament and as far as I remember he was the glue that bound the team together in the middle-overs last season.


Arnab: Nobody is discounting Hooda, but the fact remains that it is all about being able to handle the pressure if the top-order flatters to deceive. RCB bowlers will look to make early inroads so that the inexperienced middle and lower-order is exposed at the earliest. And just for the record, Watson was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the death overs last season with SRH's Bhuvneshwar Kumar.


Baidurjo: Did you just forget Deepak Hooda? Not only has he been good in the death overs for SRH last season, but also, managed to score 173 runs in 4 innings for Baroda in the Syed Mushtaq Ali. He is known to use the long handle well and coming off a good domestic season, the RCB bowlers would make a big mistake to ignore his presence.


Arnab: Spin will hold the key against Yuvraj too as he is a slow starter against the turning ball. I will be tempted to play the chinaman Tabrez Shamsi tonight, but given RCB's injury woes that might not happen. But the Reds have enough arsenal to ensure Yuvraj doesn't pull the trigger tonight. 

Also, apart from Yuvraj Singh there is no big name in the SRH middle-order, something bothered the team last season too. And if your top two don't fire, Yuvraj might have to fight a lone battle and he isn't really good at that.


Baidurjo: You said it Arnab, just like Hyderabad's Yuvraj Singh. The man is back in the limelight after making his Team India return, played some vintage cricket against England and trust me he will wear an altogether different look when he comes out for the 'Oranje Army' this season.


Arnab: Shane Watson is like wine, improves with age :) 


Baidurjo: Such is the state of affairs at RCB that they are having to depend on a cricketer who has retired from international cricket. With all due respect to Watson, who undoubtedly was one of the best limited overs all-rounders of his generation, lack of match practice and fitness issues could be a major concern with the Aussie.


Arnab: Shikhar Dhawan has a very low strike-rate for an opener, managed his runs at 116.78, highly dependent on Warner to fire from the other end and let's not forget he has had a terrible run off late and his performance in the three Deodhar Trophy matches don't count for much. By the way RCB has a counter for Dhawan too. Stand-in-captain Shane Watson has his number, having dismissed Dhawan 4 times in 12 T20 matches overall. And with Watto doing the captain's job, expect him to be at his best


Baidurjo: My second HE-MAN for the night is our very own Shikhar 'GABBAR' Dhawan. Back with a bang in the Deodhar Trophy with a hundred and a fifty, the opener would look to use this platform to make a strong case for his India return. IPL has always been a special hunting ground for him and he scored 501 runs in 17 innings with 4 fifties in 2016


Arnab: We will see!


Baidurjo: Hahahahaha! Are you really talking about Chahal? Warner has scored 51 runs in 6 innings against the leggie and has been dismissed by him only once. Also his strike rate against Chahal is a massive 176.5. I think Warner will send your leg-spinner and his mates on a leather hunt tonight


Arnab: Isn't he the same Goliath who has a susceptibility against spinners early in his innings, does the name Yuzvendra Chahal ring a bell in your ears? He is currently India's best bet in the shortest format and he has been in super form for RCB over the past two season. In 2016 alone he picked up 21 wickets in 13 innings, and had he played more matches he wouldn't have let your Bhuvi take the purple cap home!


Baidurjo: All I can say is that form is temporary and class is permanent. I am talking about a man who single handedly scored 32 percent of SRH's team runs last season. You are looking at a Goliath my friend


Arnab: Are you talking about the same David Warner, who managed only one fifty on the recent Test tour of India? I know these are different formats, but such kind of form leading into a big tournament will put the left-hander under pressure, given he is also your captain.


Baidurjo: Okay, so here is my first salvo, our captain marvellous David Warner was the second highest run-getter in the last season, scoring 848 runs in 17 games at a staggering average of 60.6 which included 9 fifties. He is an IPL veteran and expect him to tear the RCB bowling apart tonight.


Arnab: Over-confidence is a bane Baidurjo, hope you know that, also I don't think you know very well that your team doesn't have a great home record, what say to that


Baidurjo: Thank You Arnab for a much decorated introduction and letting the fans know that I have the easier job, actually you know it very well that your team doesn't stand a chance tonight, hence playing it safe, What Say??


Hello and welcome to our live preview of the first match of the tenth season of the Indian Premier League, which will see defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the a much depleted Royal Challengers Bangalore.

My name is Arnab Sen, the editor of CricketNext and today I will try and build a case for the RCB against the SRH. 

And with me is Baidurjo Bhose, our Cricket correspondent who has the easy task of making a case for the defending champions.

IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - Preview

(Images Credit: BCCI)

The 10th edition of the Indian Premier League gets underway in Hyderabad with defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore.

We at CricketNext will dissect the match through our statistics based analysis where we discuss which team has greater chances of coming out on top.

Team Rankings

1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 4484 115
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
FULL Ranking