New-look RCB eye Sunrisers Hyderabad scalp

Warner and coach Tom Moody are now faced with the task of finding an able replacement for Yuvraj in their opening game.

Bengaluru: Sporting a new look and with more firepower in their batting line-up, Royal Challengers Bangalore begin their IPL-9 campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday.

The Virat Kohli-skippered outfit already have big hitters Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers in the ranks, and will be further boosted by the arrival of all-rounders Shane Watson and Stuart Binny from Rajasthan Royals.

With Kohli in splendid form and the squad sporting a balanced look for the ninth IPL edition, this summer could be fruitful for the two-time runners-up in their bid for the title. SRH have failed to make the last four in the previous edition but flaunt an experienced and lethal bowling attack that could crack the mighty RCB batting.

Seasoned seamer Ashish Nehra is expected to spearhead the attack along with Kiwi quick Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and leg-spinner Karn Sharma. The SRH team management and captain David Warner have plenty of options with left-arm pacers Mustafizur Rahman and Barinder Sran in the ranks.

SRH though suffered a blow on Monday with Yuvraj Singh ruled for two weeks. The all-rounder has failed to recover from the ankle injury sustained during the World T20 encounter against Australia at Mohali.

Warner and coach Tom Moody are now faced with the task of finding an able replacement for Yuvraj in their opening game. Apart from dashing opener Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan, Naman Ojha, Deepak Hooda, and Aditya Tare make up the rest of the batting.

RCB too are missing key players due to injury. Aussie star pacer Mitchell Starc, who was destructive during the death overs in the last season, is still recovering from ankle surgery while World T20 champion spinner Samuel Badree, who injured his shoulder during the West Indies’ triumphant run, is likely to join the team from the third game. Starc hopes to be fit for Australia’s ODI tour of the West Indies in June.

Looking for a positive start, Kohli will bank on overseas recruit Adam Milne to shoulder bowling duties along with domestic stars Sreenath Arvind, Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

With the first two games at Mumbai and Kolkata being a low-scoring affairs, fans here are hoping for more competition on a batting friendly deck on Tuesday night.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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