Injury-struck Delhi Daredevils would look to defy all numbers and would look to start their IPL campaign on a positive note when face another injury-hit outfit Royal Challengers Bangalore in their season opener in an exciting Saturday battle in IPL at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy stadium.
A depleted Bangalore is struggling without Captain Virat Kohli, ruled out because of a shoulder injury, and AB de Villiers, who also missed the first tie due to a back problem.
De Villiers is once again a doubtful starter for Saturday’s match and in his absence; Shane Watson would continue to lead the side as an interim captain.
Meanwhile, the Daredevils, who have been the worst performing side in the nine previous IPL seasons, would be desperately looking to get a few wins early on to bolster their fragile confidence.
But the picture does not look so rosy with injuries to some of their star players. RCB too have lost a few mega stars this season due to injuries.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost star batsman KL Rahul for the entire tournament owing to an injury and talented Sarfaraz Khan will most likely be unavailable for the season after hurting himself on the field during a practice match.
The absence of big names from the team has had an effect as RCB went down to defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by 35 runs in the inaugural match on Wednesday.
Bangalore would be hoping that their destructive batsmen Chris Gayle and Watson—both of whom are capable of destroying any opposition on their day—come well against another depleted side- Delhi Daredevils.
The Jamaican batsman is capable of turning the tide in his team’s favour and he would be even more desperate to prove his mettle after a sub-standard outing in the previous season.
The Daredevils have also been affected by a few injury jolts right before the start of IPL season 10. They have lost South Africans Quinton De Kock and Jean-Paul Duminy for the entire tournament, affecting their balance.
While Duminy pulled out citing personal reasons, de Kock had suffered tendon damage on his right index finger during the Test series against New Zealand.
Shreyas Iyer, the flamboyant batsman, has been ruled out for at least a week due to chickenpox. Sri Lankan Angelo Matthews also has injury worries along with Mohammad Shami.
Looking at the RCB’s bowling department, they would heavily depend on Tymal Mills, an expensive buy at the IPL 2017 auction, and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both of them had picked just one wicket each in RCB’s last game.
With Aniket Choudhary and Sreenath Aravind averaging over 10, Watson might opt for Kiwi pacer Adam Milne and Samuel Badree.
On the other side, Delhi Daredevils Captain Zaheer Khan will be spearheading DD’s pace attack. Zaheer has not bowled so far this cricketing season and thus there are question marks over his form.
DD also have West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite and Aussie pacer Pat Cummins to lend the team experience and firepower. Delhi would also bank on aggressive New Zealander Corey Anderson to win them a few games.
08 April 2017, 8 PM
M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Home venue of RCB)
Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 11, RCB won – 6, DD Won – 4
RCB: Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Shane Watson (capt), Kedar Jadhav (wk), Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Aniket Choudhary, Yuzvendra Chahal, Pawan Negi, Harshal Patel, Adam Milne, Iqbal Abdulla, Samuel Badree, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (capt), Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings.
(With inputs from PTI)