Sunrisers ready for the Royal challenge

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli will be desperate for a victory; Sunrisers Hyderabad will rely on the in-form David Warner for a start.

Yusuf Pathan (left) and Rashid Khan celebrate the win against Rajasthan Royals on Friday.   -  PTI

 

A buoyant Sunrisers Hyderabad, fresh from its impressive win over Rajasthan Royals, takes on a struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Sunday.

Led by Virat Kohli, RCB suffered two straight losses. It should be determined to discover the winning touch at the earliest so as not to fall too far behind on the points table.

To achieve the targets, RCB needs to raise the bar on a pitch which should be again a batsman-friendly one. It will be a huge challenge for the RCB bowling attack, comprising pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and local boy Mohammad Siraj.

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The spin duo of leggie Yuzvendra Chahal and offie Moeen Ali will be expected to deliver too.

“What plan will be there if Warner plays like that,” was the frank confession by Rajasthan batsman Rahul Tripathi after his team suffered at the hands of the Australian southpaw. Warner makes a formidable combination with a classy Jonny Bairstow. Captain Kane Williamson coming in at No. 3 completes the solid top order.

It has some big-hitters like Yusuf Pathan and the ever-improving all-rounder Vijay Shankar to shore up the middle-order though Manish Pandey is struggling.

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An area of concern for SRH can well be the bowling. Death-overs specialist and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been leaking runs. It would be interesting to see whether left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who was ineffective against Royals, will retain his place.

On the other hand, RCB should have little worries in batting with Kohli and AB de Villiers in silken touch. All it needs is a good start by the opening pair of Parthiv Patel and Ali.

West Indian Shimron Hetmyer is badly in need of a big score and if he regains touch, it should be a huge bonus for the visitor.

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