The strongest team on paper in almost every edition of the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad when they take on Zaheer Khan’s Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.
With three of the biggest stars sitting out due to injury, it will again be a tough challenge for Daniel Vettori to come up with a set of XI players who can take DD by the throat. Let us have a look at the predicted RCB XI for the game.
Openers: Chris Gayle and Mandeep Singh
The Caribbean big-hitter and the budding star from Punjab look set to open the innings for the second game in a row in absence of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. The duo gave a good start to the Bengaluru outfit while chasing a mammoth total of 207. RCB would be expecting them to stay much longer this time and if Gayle stays for long, we all know what he is capable of.
Middle Order: Travis Head, Kedar Jadhav(WK), Sachin Baby
With AB deVilliers still not sure of playing the match, the middle-order combination for RCB is not expected to change from the last match. Travis Head will get another opportunity to prove his worth before arrival of big South African and Sachin Baby will have to justify his selection with useful innings. Kedar Jadhav, who will also don the big gloves, looks a certainty.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) April 7, 2017
All-Rounders: Shane Watson (C), Stuart Binny/Harshal Patel
While captain Shane Watson is a certainty at the first all-rounder’s slot, Stuart Binny will face competition from Harshal Patel after another poor performance against SRH. With the chances of Aniket Chowdhary being dropped, Harshal Patel might be drafted in to boost the bowling attack. However, Binny may get the last chance to save his place.
Spinners: Yuzvendra Chahal, Iqbal Abdullah (if Aniket Chowdhary is dropped)
It was the leg-spin of Yuzavendra Chahal which was most effective against SRH batsmen. Considering his success in the last game, Vettori might be prompted to go for an extra spinner in left-arm orthodox bowler Iqbal Abdullah. The Mumbaikar is an economical and disciplined bowler and his ability to contribute with bat lower down the order may boost his chances.
Pacers: Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Aniket Chowdhary (if not dropped)
Tymal Mills and Sreenath Aravind are certainties in the pace attack while the inclusion of Harshal Patel may force Aniket Chowdhary to sit out. The left-arm pacer from Rajasthan had a forgettable debut and it is still unclear whether Watson will give him another chance. Once again, a lot will depend on Tymal Mills and his four overs could decide the fate of the match.
With main battles being between Stuart Binny-Harshal Patel and Iqbal Abdullah-Aniket Chowdhary, it will be interesting to see who gets the final nod. The answer to this question will be answered when Watson comes out for the toss at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.