Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai
Sunrisers have a brittle middle order, so it’s better to have more top-order batsmen and bowlers from their team.
Our XI: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Chris Morris, Rashid Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed
Substitutes: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dale Steyn, Washington Sundar, Moeen Ali
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: David Warner
Warner is a no-brainer pick given his IPL record. Though he had a tough time in England, he did look in good touch in the final ODI. At the IPL, very few have been as consistent as Warner. Last season, he played just 12 games but still won the orange cap, scoring 692 runs at a strike rate of 143.87, including a 100 not out against RCB.
Vice-captain: Mohammad Nabi
There is no reason to look past someone who bowls four overs every game and also bats in the top six. This, especially if he hs someone as special as Nabi, who is coming off a great CPL, where he scored 156 runs at a strike rate of 124.80 and also picked up 12 wickets at an average of 17. Nabi’s economy rate of 5.10 was also the best in the tournament among all bowlers with ten or more wickets.
Virat Kohli: The RCB skipper is a must-have. Kohli must be ready to announce himself in this IPL with a big score. The fans will be hoping this turns out to be the season where he can repeat his 2016 heroics.
Rashid Khan: Even though Khan had an ordinary CPL, he is expected to deliver for the Sunrisers on the slow pitches in the UAE. You can never discount a quality legspinner in any form of cricket, let alone in T20s. Since 2018, Khan has the highest dot-ball percentage of 44.57% in the IPL, and his 25 wickets are the second most in the middle overs in the IPL.
Manish Pandey: In all probability, Pandey will bat No. 3 for the Sunrisers. Last season, he played six innings at that position, and scored 205 runs at an average of 72.50 and a strike rate of 141.46. However, his numbers while batting below No. 3 were significantly lower.
Devdutt Padikkal: The 20-year-old Padikkal was the highest run-getter in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well as the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy during the 2019-20 domestic season. In the T20 tournament, Padikkal scored 580 runs at a strike rate of 175.75. If he plays, he will definitely open the batting for RCB and could be the difference between winning and losing.
Khaleel Ahmed: Ahmed was the highest wicket-taker for the Sunrisers last season. He picked up 19 last year at an economy rate of 8.23 and an excellent strike rate of 11. He could give you a couple of wickets almost every game.
Points to note
If Padikkal doesn’t play, pick Washington Sundar.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had the edge over Aaron Finch in all T20s since 2016. Their head-to-head record reads: 31 balls, 24 runs and three dismissals.
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