In a match sure to be highlighted by their skippers, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will take-on SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), captained by the dynamic David Warner on Monday (September 21) at the Dubai International Stadium in UAE.
The side’s have built-up an intriguing rivalry over the years especially since SRH won their maiden IPL crown by narrowly defeating RCB in the 2016 edition.
After reaching the finals in 2016, RCB have performed miserably by their lofty standards and finished at the bottom of the table in the 2017 and 2019 editions. The side will look to come out all guns blazing for the upcoming edition and will bid for their maiden IPL title.
Both side’s boast of prominent names in their lineups and have made some important additions to further bolster their side.
Skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers are arguably two of the biggest names in IPL history and will be the linchpins for RCB.
RCB will be aiming for glory as they brought in Australian limited overs skipper Aaron Finch and also roped in leg-spinner Adam Zampa as a replacement for pacer Kane Richardson which will surely boost the team’s chances in the spin-friendly conditions of the UAE.
Fresh blood in the form of youngsters like Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube and the uncapped Shahbaz Ahmed will surely turn the odds in RCB’s favour as they need that hunger and creativity to lay their hands on the prestigious trophy after having dismal campaigns since the past three years.
SunRisers on the other hand have David Warner, the ever-dependent Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow in their ranks which is an intimidating batting lineup for any opposition.
The wily Rashid Khan will spearhead the bowling department alongside the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi, Shahbaz Nadeem and Siddharth Kaul all are game-changers in their own right – A big reason as to why SunRisers are considered as the strongest bowling side in the tournament.
Talking about the RCB-SRH rivalry over the years and not talking about David Warner and Virat Kohli’s personal battle for the Orange Cap will be a misery.
While Kohli is the all-time leading IPL run-scorer with 5412 runs in 177 matches, Warner occupies the fourth spot with 4706 runs in 126 matches but boasts of a better average and strike-rate than Kohli. Warner averages 43.17 with a strike-rate of 142.39 whereas Kohli currently averages 37.84 and has a strike-rate of 131.61.
Kohli holds the record for the most runs in a single edition when he scored an astonishing 973 runs in the 2016 edition while Warner is the only batsman in IPL history to win the Orange Cap thrice. The Australian opener was also the top run-scorer in last year’s edition and would look to carry his form from the past year.
Now, it all boils down to this moment. It’s Royal Challengers Bangalore against the SunRisers Hyderabad with their two flamboyant leaders, all set to battle it out for the top prize: the IPL 2020 trophy.