It’s Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad in match number 29 and today, Suneer Chowdhary is with you for his preview, prediction and analysis of this encounter. Have a listen to him right here or read excerpts of his podcast below.
19 years ago to the date, India and Sachin Tendulkar were involved in a game that was referred to as a Desert Storm; a swashbuckling century from the maestro helped India qualify for the final of the Coca-Cola Cup tri-series and later he hit another hundred to win the title for them, at the expense of a helpless Australian side.
The last time the Royal Challengers Bangalore played in this IPL, there was a storm of a different kind that was probably brewing…one that saw their side getting bowled out for the lowest IPL score ever in its history and Virat Kohli, who has carried the Indian batting baton on from Tendulkar, was left wondering what’s going wrong for his Bangalore side that is now in the danger of missing out of the playoffs berth. He knows that a lot is expected out of his side from the fans but for now, they look like they are headed into a direction that could well be remembered as one of the most overrated IPL sides in cricketing history if things don’t change quickly enough.
Hello there and a very warm welcome to this World Cricket Chat podcast and as you would have guessed by now, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have a lot to do moving into their next league game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The pummeling defeat at the hands of the Kolkata Knight Riders may or may not have left them demoralised – you can never tell that with an uber-confident guy like Kohli at the helm – but where it has definitely left them is at the bottom of the IPL 2017 points table.
Hyderabad, on the other hand, have had a roller coaster of a ride so far. They began well with a couple of wins including one at home against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in what was a high-scoring contest, then lost two, followed by two more wins and it looked like they were well on course to a fifth victory when MS Dhoni happened. Well, that was a storm of another kind and it rolled back years for all MSD fans.
Moises Henriques’ unbeaten half-century and some tight middle-overs bowling from Rashid Khan looked to have punctured the Rising Pune Supergiant hopes before Dhoni cracked the contest open with his smashing 61 that came off just 34 deliveries and won the game for Pune off the last ball. Social media went agog and for a change, even a certain Mr. Goenka was happy…for now.
Action will now move to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, which means the pitch, if one were to go by what’s happened this season, could be a slow and turning pitch. In the three matches and six innings played at the ground, no team has passed 161 and the other scores have all been between 130 and 160. Of course, what needs to be looked at is that it would be nine days since a game was played here which means the ground-staff would have got enough time to prepare a pitch that Kohli might want – and for his struggling batsmen, he would want a flat pancake of a pitch.
He will also know the side will be up against the class of Rashid Khan, who has been on song and give him a slow, turner and scoring will become even tougher for a deflated side. Not something the RCB can afford…I wonder if Hyderabad have been thinking of playing Pravin Tambe for a game ahead of Bipul Sharma, just to make things tougher for the batsmen. For Bangalore there were changes aplenty last game and I am not sure the management will rest too easily without changes again. Frankly I would give the same playing XI another go barring the odd change for any niggle but it’s not like there’s a lot of performing bench-strength for Bangalore and it could well be time to back the same set.
As far as predictions go, here’s what Shruti had to say when I spoke to her earlier today:
Suneer, we should expect this to be a highly competitive game in which Bangalore could give themselves a better chance of winning if they get to bat second, so if they don’t, it does seem tougher but I would still give tarot advantage to Royal Challengers Bangalore.