RCB has edge
Hyderabad: With their enthusiasm having been sufficiently bolstered following the win over Pune Warriors India on Friday, host Sunrisers Hyderabad...
Hyderabad: With their enthusiasm having been sufficiently bolstered following the win over Pune Warriors India on Friday, host Sunrisers Hyderabad will be hoping for an encore when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday. However, on a closer look the optimism may be a bit far-fetched considering that as title contenders the visiting team will be no pushovers. Moreover, like the Sunrisers, even they recorded a stunning win over Mumbai Indians, which, when taken on a broader spectrum, was far more noteworthy then what the Hyderabad outfit achieved. All said and done, several chinks in the armour in the new entrant were exposed because the Kumar Sangakkara-led team came a cropper on the batting front. It was the bowlers who turned the tide even as the Warriors line up choked against the sustained spells by man of the match, Amit Mishra, all-rounder Thisara Perera and the wily old fox, Dale Steyn. Moreover the pitch was hardly conducive for batting if one goes by Steyn's take. He observed, quite justifiably so, that the wicket was more bowler-friendly, thanks to tennis ball bounce the bowlers could exploit to suitable levels. This particular observation by the master himself should send ominous signals to the batsmen who wish to go for their shots. This is a point of bother for the Challengers, whose batting depth is amazing for a T20 battle. Chris Gayle, a strong contender for the Orange cap, skipper Virat Kohli, A B de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Daniel Christian could send shivers down any attack. Although, bereft of the services of Zaheer Khan, they can depend on the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Daniel Vettori and Murali Karthik, who could do what Amit Mishra did and perhaps more effectively. Taken under any yardstick, Royal Challengers Bangalore begins as the clear favourite, this time round.
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