The Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore had a splendid start to their campaign in IPL 2021 defeating the two-time defending champions and the most successful team in IPL history – the Mumbai Indians – in the tournament opener in Chennai. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, were not at their best and went down to Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue. RCB would look to build on the early momentum while the David Warner-led SRH would also want to get on the points table and not start their campaign with two losses.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Devdutt Padikkal may make a comeback into the RCB XI after recovering from Covid-19. In that case, Washington Sundar who looked a bit at sea in the role of the opener might be pushed to the middle-order. Rajat Patidar may get another chance at number three. RCB’s big three – Kohli, AB and Maxwell – fired in the opening encounter and the team would look for a big contribution from them again.
The biggest revelation for the franchise though was the performance of medium pacer Harshal Patel who returned with five wickets in Chennai. Mohammed Siraj and Kyle Jamieson were brilliantly restrictive with the new ball.
RCB would hope that Yuzvendra Chahal returns to form in the coming matches – he is their playmaker in the middle overs and was the highest wicket-taker amongst spinners in 2020 – however, since then the leg spinner has been in indifferent form for India with his rising economy a big concern.
SRH would hope for a big start from their openers – skipper David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha – both failed in the season opener. The middle-order looks sorted though there might be a need to swap the positions of the hard-hitting Abdul Samad with Vijay Shankar.
SRH might have to wait for a few more games before their talisman Kane Williamson makes a comeback into the XI. Jonny Bairstow is their trump card in the middle order and the team needs him to fire especially till Williamson comes back into the side.
The fast bowlers had a rough day against KKR with both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Sandeep Sharma going at above 10 runs per over. T Natarajan was also expensive with an economy rate of 9.25 runs per over. Rashid Khan, one of the most restrictive bowlers in IPL history, would continue to hold the key to their fortunes in the middle overs.
WHEN: 14th April, 7:30 PM IST
WHERE: Chennai, India
LIVE STREAMING: Hotstar
RCB Team News
Devdutt Padikkal’s return at the top of the order will boost the RCB batting line-up.
Possible Playing XI: Virat Kohli, 2 Devdutt Padikkal, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Washington Sundar, 7 Daniel Christian, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Mohammed Siraj, 10 Harshal Patel, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
SRH Team News
SRH is expected to field the same XI but with a few changes in the batting order.
Possible Playing XI: 1 David Warner, 2 Wriddhiman Saha, 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Mohammad Nabi, 6 Abdul Samad, 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Rashid Khan, 9. Sandeep Sharma, 10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 T Natarajan
Recent Head-to-Head: (Last 5 matches)
SRH lead the head to head rivalry 3-2 in the last 5 matches against RCB
To watch out for
David Warner did not get going in the season opener and would be raring to go against RCB. He was not at his destructive best last year too and would be looking to make amends this season. Warner is the highest scorer amongst overseas batsmen in the history of the IPL with an average of 42.39 and strike rate of 141.46.
RCB: We brought Harshal in a trade from Delhi. He is relishing the responsibility and is clear with his plans. He was the difference today. He is going to be our death bowler: Virat Kohli on the Player of the Match for RCB in the first encounter – Harshal Patel
SRH: The dew made a difference. If the bowlers overpitched, it was easy to hit it, and with the height in their team, and with the cross-seam, it stopped a little bit on us: SRH skipper David Warner after the loss against KKR in their opening match