After starting their 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season with two straight losses, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) travel to Hyderabad to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday, March 31 at 9:30pm AEDT. This match is broadcast live into Australia on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost to Chennai (seven wickets) and Mumbai (six runs), giving credence to worries over the team balance. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, followed their loss to Kolkata (six wickets) with a win over Rajasthan (five wickets).
Having picked up a confidence-boosting win at this venue in a late-night fixture on Friday, Sunrisers will look forward to continuing their momentum. This has been their favourite venue against RCB, having defeated them five times out of six.
David Warner (154 runs @ SR 171.11) announced his return to IPL with two characteristically belligerent knocks. The Aussie opener’s form is a huge positive, so is the return-from-injury of captain Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow. Traditionally, Hyderabad struggled to get their Indian batsmen to contribute. However, Vijay Shankar’s form (75 runs @ SR 192.30) augurs well for the side.
Bowling hasn’t yet settled into its groove, but Rashid Khan (ER 6.25) remains as tight as ever. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (ER 11.50) and Sandeep Sharma (ER 10.00) have struggled to contain the batsmen at both ends of the innings, which remains a worry.
The tight loss to Mumbai would have certainly hurt Bangalore, who continue to remain over-dependent on captain Virat Kohli and star batsman AB de Villiers. None of the RCB batsmen have yet aggregated 100 runs in the season, and Shimron Hetmyer’s slow start (five runs) is a concern.
With the ball, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (five wickets @ ER 5.50) leads the attack that is still searching for a settled unit. Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Colin de Grandhomme continue to disappoint, raising worries over their effectiveness.
Warner has lost no time in announcing himself with blistering knocks of 85 and 69. He already has 18x4 and 5x6 this season showing a penchant for the big shots. The Aussie opener will once again be the key to Hyderabad’s chances.
AB de Villiers almost single-handedly won RCB their match against Mumbai, but his knock of 70* from 41 balls had six fierce maximums. Mr. 360 is a great asset for RCB and his runs will be vital for Kohli’s men.
Virat Kohli has excellent numbers in 12 matches against SRH (485 runs, Avg. 53.89, SR 143.92). His knock against Mumbai showed that the Indian captain loves a battle and is picking up form at the right time.
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