The VIVO IPL 2017 finally kick-starts at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad tonight. The tournament, which attracts the best of the cricketing talents across globe, has been plagued with injuries this year which has resulted in some of the key players (KL Rahul, Murali Vijay etc.) being ruled out for the whole season while others (Virat Kohli, De Villiers, Jadeja etc.) are going to miss the initial matches.
Despite the injury jolts, this promises to be another mega-entertainer.
The opening game of the 10th edition of IPL will be played between the defending Champions – Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the power-packed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). It promises an action loaded night as both the teams boast of some of the most destructive batsmen in their ranks.
David Warner, the SRH captain, will be itching to repeat his last year heroics where he carried his team, almost single-handedly to the maiden IPL title. RCB on the other hand, are going into the season opener without Kohli and De Villiers. Watson has been named as the stand-in skipper which is a huge responsibility though he has experience of captaincy before.
Top Fantasy Pick: Batsman
David Warner: He was the top run-scorer for SRH last year. Though he had a lean Test Series against India, it will be a huge mistake to assume that he is down in confidence. He is an important link in the SRH success and can take the attack to any opposition single-handedly.
Top Fantasy Pick: Bowler
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar: SRH has an enviable bowling attack with Bhuvaneshwar as its spearhead. Due to his ability of swing bowling and the uncanny Yorkers, he comes in handy both during the start of the innings and at the death. He was the purple cap holder last season.
Top Fantasy Pick: All Rounder
Shane Watson: The former Aussie All-rounder has been trusted with the additional responsibility of captaincy in the absence of Kohli and De Villiers. The Man of the tournament of the inaugural IPL edition has scored more than 2500 runs while scalping more than 80 wickets in the nine years of IPL history.
Top Punt Player
Tymal Mills: Coming on the back of very impressive performances in Big Bash league and the T20 series against India inJanuray, Mills bagged a 12 Cr price tag at the IPL auctions this year. He will be raring to prove the worth of his heavy price tag.
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – Probable XI
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Shikar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha, Deepak Hooda, Ben Cutting, Ashish Nehra, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Bipul Sharma, Ben Laughlin
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Shane Watson(c), Travis Head, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, S Aravind, Tymal Mills, Y Chahal, Negi
IPL 2017 TV Guide
You can tune into Sony Max (for English) and Sony Six (for Hindi) on your TV sets to enjoy the live action from Hyderabad. Viewers can also watch the live streaming of the match at Hotstar from 8 Pm onwards tonight.