The warning bells for both teams were sounded in their opening matches of the Pepsi IPL 2013 edition.

And heeding to it, both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad provided enough hints that all key players will be retained when two outfits clash under lights at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Sunday.

For RCB, the dazzling stroke-maker Chris Gayle and for SH pace ace Dale Steyn have the ability to change the game in the space of a couple of overs.

The holiday crowd can look forward to a royal battle, rekindling memories of that classic contest between Gayle and Steyn which the former won in the last IPL match between them in Hyderabad.

“I have to make a difference within only 24 balls because that’s the only bit I can play in the game. When you’re an opening batsman you can play for 20 overs — that is 120 balls. But I get only 24 balls to make my influence felt,” said Steyn.

However , the clash between the two teams which pulled off seemingly improbable wins in their opening encounters, doesn’t start and end with Gayle and Steyn.

There is lot of class in both the teams and again there will be individual battles within the main battle.

Sunrisers captain Kumar Sangakkara will be taking on his former illustrious teammate Muthiah Muralitharan and the classy left-arm spinner Murali Karthik. Then there is Virat Kohli facing his India teammate Ishant Sharma and the duel between classy stroke-maker Dilshan Tillakaratne and in-form leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

The SH bowling attack of Steyn, Ishant, Thisara Perera and Amit Mishra has a lot of depth. Ishant and Perera are proving to be a wonderful foil for Steyn while Amit Mishra’s incisive three-wicket spell against Pune Warriors in the first game should have boosted the confidence of the home team.


‘Our bowling is a lot better’April 6, 2013

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