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IPL 2017, Match 1: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore

Wisden India logo Wisden India 05-04-2017 Wisden India staff

The opening game of the 2017 Indian Premier League between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajeev Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday (April 5) will be a repeat of the title clash last year, when David Warner and Co. had pipped their opponents by eight runs to clinch the trophy.

This year too, Bangalore look intimidating on paper, but they will be without the services of three of their highest run-getters from last season in this match. While Virat Kohli is nursing the shoulder injury he picked up during the Test series against Australia, AB de Villiers has been advised rest to recuperate from a back problem that forced him out of the final of South Africa’s domestic List-A league. Meanwhile, KL Rahul, set to undergo a shoulder surgery in London, has been ruled out of the entire tournament.

Sunrisers Hyderabad team celebrate the wicket of Royal Challengers Bangalore AB de Villiers during the 2016 Indian Premier League. © Getty Images Sunrisers Hyderabad team celebrate the wicket of Royal Challengers Bangalore AB de Villiers during the 2016 Indian Premier League.

Shane Watson, the stand-in captain, and Chris Gayle will have to shoulder most of the responsibilities during the contest, since the rest of their playing XI is short on experience. With Sarfaraz Khan also out of the tournament with a leg injury, Bangalore will bank on Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav and Travis Head, if he makes it to the final roster, to back Gayle and Watson with the bat. Bangalore's bowling resources include Tymal Mills, Billy Stanlake, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, S Arvind, Tabraiz Shamsi, Adam Milne and Pawan Negi.

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NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 29: Cheerleaders during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on April 29, 2012. (Photo by Kaushik Roy/India Today Group/Getty Images) 20 biggest IPL controversies — Presented by OPPO

Hyderabad, on the other hand, will ideally expect David Warner, their captain, to give them the kind of starts he delivered last season, and for Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson and Moises Henriques to play the supporting role.

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While Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are expected to lead the home team’s pace attack, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, the recent Afghanistan recruits, could turn out to be the surprise package in Hyderabad’s arsenal. The defending champions will miss Mustafizur Rahman, who is currently playing the T20I series against Sri Lanka and is expected to join Hyderabad in time for their second match.

Matches played: 9, Hyderabad won: 5, Bangalore won: 4

Matches played: 4, Hyderabad won: 3, Bangalore won: 1

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