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– By Siddharth Kashyap
The loss against Mumbai Indians a couple of nights ago would still be fresh in the minds of the RCB fans. While calling it a close match wouldn’t be entirely wrong, it was a controversial finish. RCB can only convince themselves that had the umpire called a no ball, they would have gone on to win that match. But the harsh truth is that they have still not registered a win, and are only one of two teams who are in this situation.
SRH are in red hot form and would come into this match high on confidence. “Name’s David. Hits like Goliath” read the giant screen the other night. An incident like the sandpaper gate would have literally crushed any sportsman to the point of no return, but there are few who rise like a phoenix from the ashes. And David Warner is one of them. He’s hitting them hard and he’s hitting them out of the park. Not just the cricket ball but also his critics.
SRH Probable XI – David Warner*, Kane Williamson(c)*, Jonny Bairstow*, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan*, Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem
RCB Probable XI – Parthiv Patel (wk), Heinrich Klaasen*, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers*, Shimron Hetmyer*, Shivam Dube, Tim Southee*, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj,
SRH would be looking to go in with an unchanged side. Kane Williamson might be looking to bring in someone like Deepak Hooda in place of Shahbaz Nadeem. While the whole world still looks at Rashid Khan as a bowler, what he’s quietly done is establish himself as a pinch hitter down the order. This provides great stability to the team in case one of Williamson or Warner fail to get those big runs at the top.
Virat Kohli’s abysmal team selection has cost RCB heavily in the past and continues to do so. Chopping and changing every match can break the momentum of even the best of players. While Kohli is probably one of the mentally fittest players in the cricketing world, he fails to realise that his teammates aren’t quite the same. At the same time, one also fails to realise why players who have been extremely poor continue to be a part of the Kohli’s playing XI.
Moeen Ali is not getting the job done for RCB at the top of the order. Neither is he contributing with the ball. If Kohli is looking for an opener, it would be prudent to give Heinrich Klaasen a go. Colin de Grandhomme has not quite lived up to the tag of an all-rounder. Having someone as experienced as Tim Southee warming the benches when death bowling is RCB’s main concern is honestly baffling. These are the two changes Kohli should look at making this match.
Match Predictions – SRH look a more balanced side and check all the boxes, and it looks like Kohli’s charades are going to be doused by Kane’s calmness.