Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad will face each other in their respective second match of the tournament on Wednesday. When RCB has started with an important win against the defending champions, SRH had a narrow loss against KKR as their bowlers delivered a lower-than-expected performance on the day.
Despite Virat Kohli’s presence in the line-up, it is AB de Villiers who kept showing his worth regularly. De Villiers is arguably one of best overseas players in IPL and kept delivering for RCB. Even in the last match it looked like RCB will cruise to the target when Kohli and Glenn Maxwell was batting but a host of wickets suddenly brought back MI to the game. But de Villiers came in RCB’s rescue. His 48 off 27 deliveries ensured that RCB never fallen behind in the chase and despite his dismissal RCB could cross the line in the final ball of the match. Although inclusion of Maxwell has provided a brilliant all-round option for RCB who can bat at any position in the middle order, de Villiers will again play a key role against SRH. Specially his battle against the leg spinner Rashid Khan can be a gamechanger.
Jonny Bairstow had interesting last few months in India. He had a terrible test series, being troubled by the spinners but returned in the limited over series with a number of top performances In ODIs and T20Is. He also started IPL with a bang and was easily the best batsman for SRH in their fast match. The 92 runs partnership between him and Manish Pandey came in less than 11 overs and kept Sunrisers Hyderabad in the hunt. Bairstow’s 55 included 5 fours and 3 sixes and some of the shots were clearly from a man in form. For the SRH team management, it is always a debate between Bairstow and Kane Williamson and currently Bairstow is ensuring his spot in the eleven. Whether they can somehow fit in Williamson that will be interesting to see.