2016 Final Repeat? – SRH vs RCB Preview

2016 Final Repeat? – SRH vs RCB Preview

What a game we had last night! It is definitely up there with the very best. You have to feel sorry for Mayank Agarwal, but then again, if you go for the glory shots when you need just one run in 3 balls, you don’t really deserve the victory. If you put yourself before the team, both of you lose. And that’s exactly what happened.

Anyway, coming to today’s game, we have Sunrisers Hyderabad against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. I believe that the rivalry between these two teams is really underrated. I mean, this tie should have MI-CSK level of emotions. RCB fans should be fuming at the team who took away the trophy frorm them at the very last stage not one, but two times! If SRH didn’t exist, RCB would’ve been two-time IPL champions, and all the social media trolls would have nothing to say!

Probable XIs

Sunrisers Hyderabad

  1. David Warner*(c)
  2. Jonny Bairstow*
  3. Kane Williamson*/Mohammad Nabi*
  4. Manish Pandey
  5. Vijay Shankar
  6. Virat Singh/Abdul Samad
  7. Rashid Khan*
  8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  9. Shahbaz Nadeem
  10. Siddharth Kaul
  11. Khaleel Ahmed

The Sunrisers Hyderabad’s XI is set, except for one question. Who will the 4th overseas player be? Warner, Bairstow, and Rashid Khan walk into the team easily. The final decision is who to play from Kane Williamson and Mohammad Nabi. Williamson would give strength to an otherwise languishing middle order. Mohammad Nabi, on the other hand will take up the instrumental role of a finisher in the team and will also bring an extra spin bowling option. Since this is just the start of the tournament, the pitches aren’t won out yet, and spinners won’t be as lethal. Thus, Williamson might get the nod ahead of Nabi for now, but you’d better expect Nabi to start playing much more frequently as the tournament progresses.

Mohammad Nabi and Kane Williamson will have to compete for a spot in the XI

The team looks impressive, albeit not as much as the team of the 2018 and 2019.  There will be a lot of dependency on the Warner-Bairstow combination, Rashid Khan’s dangerous spells, and Bhuvi’s death over dominance. Apart from these players, Manish Pandey will have to take up a lot of responsibility this season. One from Virat Singh and Abdul Samad may get their big break today, and they should make the best of it. Abdul is a hard-hitting all rounder from Kashmir, while Virat is a Dhoni fanboy who’s batting style is also very similar to Captain Cool. I would personally go with Abdul Samad, as he looks more lik a T20 player.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

  1. Aaron Finch*
  2. Devdutt Padikkal/Parthiv Patel
  3. Virat Kohli
  4.  AB De Villiers*
  5. Moeen Ali*
  6. Chris Morris*
  7. Shivam Dube
  8. Washington Sundar
  9. Umesh Yadav
  10. Yuzvendra Chahal
  11. Navdeep Saini

It happens every year – RCB looks extremely strong, gets everyone excited about them winning the trophy this time, then fails horribly and finishes at the bottom of the table. This time however, I really think it would be different. I think RCB will pull off a DC – Going into the Top 4 the very next season after finishing last. Their team really picks itself. The only decision they really have to think about is – Who will be the second opener? Aaron Finch is a guaranteed opener. For the other opener, they would really like to play the young talent Devdutt Padikkal. Problem solved? No no no. If they play Devdutt Padikkal, they suddenly have no wicket keeper! Parthiv Patel brings in the keeping option, but Padikkal doesn’t. So, the only way they can play Padikkal, is if one of the other players starts keeping. Enter ABD. He has kept wickets in the past, but at his age, it would be difficult to play 14 games in the awkward wicket-keeping posture. But we did see ABD keeping in training, and ABD has been known to put the team before everything else. So I think that Devdutt Padikkal will be able to play, and ABD will keep the wickets.

Captain Kohli will have a tough time deciding who to play between Devdutt Padikkal and Parthiv Patel

RCB’s batting looks staggering. That Top 6 is absolutely mental. The bowling is somewhat weaker, but not too bad. They might struggle at the death though, with all their fast bowlers being opening specialists. Anyhow, I really think RCB will qualify for the playoffs if they play to their full potential.

Prediction –

As I said, RCB is extremely strong. SRH is very dependent on a few players, while RCB has secondary players to fall back onto, if their superstars fail. So, I would say that RCB will win this game. Let’s hope for another thriller like last night!

My Prediction Counter – 1-1