Almost every season, Royal Challengers Bangalore begin the IPL as one of the favourites to win the tournament. And although, they haven't won the crown, they have come close on a couple of occasions
Almost every season, Royal Challengers Bangalore begin the IPL as one of the favourites to win the tournament. And although, they haven't won the crown, they have come close on a couple of occasions, ending up as the runner-up twice. In some other seasons, they have made it to the final four before losing out. As they kick-off another season, Virat Kohli's men will be keen to go all the way this time. They know they have the capability and the players to do so. It is all about transforming potential into performance. As for Hyderabad, they came close to making it to the final four last time, but fell at the last hurdle. There is definitely plenty of scope for improvement as far as Hyderabad is concerned.
Bangalore have a number of match-winners in their side, and on paper, they are among the most dangerous batting units. Where else would be get a side with the firepower of the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB during Villiers? The Windies opener may have had a mixed World T20. But, when it comes to the IPL, he has rarely failed, and will look to continue his blazing form in the tournament. As for skipper Kohli, he has been in sensational form over the last year across formats, and should only look to continue the same. If de Villiers also fires, it will be triple trouble for Hyderabad.
Bangalore will miss the services of the injured Mitchell Starc this season, but they still have some reasonable talent in their bowling kitty. Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has constantly done well for Bangalore over the years. Then, there is also Samuel Badree, who is coming off an excellent World T20 campaign. In the pace department, they will expect Sreenath Aravind to deliver. In Shane Watson, they have plucked out a quality all-rounder, who can win them games with bat and ball. In addition, there is also Stuart Binny. Bangalore seem to have a rather settled line-up.
In contrast, Hyderabad will need to step up their game, if they want to compete against the strong Bangalore outfit. Last season, they struggled because they were heavily dependent on David Warner to deliver. The dashing batsman and Hyderabad skipper will once again be the key to the team's fortunes for when he does well, he often comes up with match-winning efforts. But, if Hyderabad want to leave an impression, they will need contributions from the rest. Shikhar Dhawan will be one of the key batsmen apart from Warner. The others who must wield their willow well include names like Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan, especially since the injured Yuvraj Singh will be unavailable for the first two weeks.
In the bowling department, Hyderabad have the experienced Ashish Nehra in their ranks, who has made a surprise and successful return to international cricket. Hyderabad will be banking on him to lead the bowling. There is also Bangladesh pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman, who will get his first taste of IPL. He would be keen to do well. The other options in their kitty are leg-spinner Karn Sharma and medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. With Yuvraj unavailable at the start, there is every possibility of Hyderabad utilising the services of Aussie all-rounder Moises Henriques.