Bengaluru, April 12 (IANS) After spearing defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their own backyard, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be on a high and probably at their most dangerous when they host Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first home game of the 2015 Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL), here Monday.
The Sunrisers will have had very little time to even lick their wounds much less recover fully from the 45-run drubbing in Chennai where they went down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday and they face an uphill task against the RCB.
Virat Kohli’s RCB could not have asked for a better start to the new season as the team showed plenty of character to tame KKR at the Eden Gardens on Saturday, especially with the form of their key batsman Chris Gayle, who topped the charts with a blistering 56-ball 96 that paved the way for a three-wicket win.
Although it is early days to form definitive opinion on the teams, RCB seem to have the tools to do far better than their poor seventh place finish last season when nothing quite went right for them from the outset.
The win over KKR has provided RCB just the kind of momentum that they will look to sustain on Monday when they face a side that has had little to show in the IPL although it won the title in its earlier avatar as Deccan Chargers in 2009 under Aussie great Adam Gilchrist.
Having lost their first match, David Warner’s Sunrisers have plenty to do. While their bowling, spearheaded by pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Trent Boult, appears more than adequate despite the pasting at Chennai, it is the batting, especially the middle-order, that has always been a perennial problem for the Sunrisers.
In the event, the pressure is on the explosive Warner and fellow-opener Shikhar Dhawan to provide the kind of starts that can help win matches and the side will be looking up to this pair on Monday when they will be up against a side brimming with confidence.
RCB will be hoping that their middle-order and also Kohli will get into the groove and, to this end, a home game provides the right environment.
Although the pre-match indicators point to a RCB win on the morrow, a T20 bash is essentially a lottery and surely, the Sunrisers wouldn’t mind a windfall.