A chance straightaway for Kohli’s men to set the record straight
Barely 40 hours after a gut-wrenching Super Over climax in Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad will square up against each other in an IPL match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday evening.
The rivalry’s second instalment was originally scheduled during May first week but the Karnataka elections forced the date to be advanced. In the light of what transpired in Hyderabad, anticipation for the latest tussle has only quadrupled.
Moises Henriques (RCB) and Hanuma Vihari (Sunrisers) may have played vital parts on Sunday night but the expected lead actors Chris Gayle and Dale Steyn, who had limited impact during the game, were back on centre-stage during the Super Over.
The RCB opener emerged second best and the duo now has another opportunity to dish out a gripping face-off.
RCB’s tryst with tense last-over finishes has resulted in one triumph and one loss for it. The mixed-bag is still credit-worthy as Virat Kohli’s men have missed two of their key players — AB de Villiers, who was away in South Africa, and spearhead Zaheer Khan, who is recovering from a calf strain.
A few worries
A few worries however remain as Tillakaratne Dilshan’s poor show (five runs in two matches) has flipped more burden upon Kohli. de Villiers is expected to join RCB late on Monday night but it remains to be seen if he will be asked to forget jet-lag and play.
Among the heartening bits are R. Vinay Kumar’s calm veneer, Jaydev Unadkat’s potential and the guiles displayed by Muttiah Muralitharan and Murali Kartik.
For Sunrisers, it is all about making the most of a good start (two victories). Skipper Kumar Sangakkara and the other batsmen have offered low returns though Vihari has done a star-turn. The bowling has shone with Amit Mishra continuing his good run and Ishant Sharma finding wickets.
After last week’s thunder-showers, the weather has stayed warm but Bangalore’s quirky atmospheric conditions can always throw up a dark cloud.
The fans would have none of it, itching as they are to see Gayle and Steyn do battle.