The team colours will be the same. The flags too. Spectators will be different for sure. But just a couple of days later, it will be as though the Chinnaswamy Stadium is an extension of the Uppal Stadium.
While Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Mumbai Indians by two runs in their opening fixture, Sunrisers Hyderabad stormed past Pune by 22 runs and then scored their second victory this season edging Bangalore in the eliminator over after the teams were locked at 130 each at the end of 20 overs.
The bowler, Vinay Kumar, who did well not to concede 10 in the last over of regulation play, spilt runs like a broken water pipe as Cameron White slammed him for two sixes, making 17 runs out of a total of 20 in the super over. Dale Steyn conceded only 15 and Hyderabad bagged full points. What they failed to achieve in normal play, they did so in the eliminator over at the Uppal Stadium. Sunrisers appear to be more of a bowling team, though they have skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Jean-Paul Duminy in their ranks. While the duo instill fear in the opponent camp, it is their bowlers – speed merchants Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma as well as the second highest wicket-taker overall in IPL, leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who can break the backs of the best batting line-ups – who carry their hopes. But unless thay have a total to defend, the odds will be stacked against them if they have to bowl second. As against Challengers, if they bowl first, they can be expected to restrict the opposition and keep the totals within gettable limits for their inadequate batting.
This has been an IPL of debutants and one never knows who will come up and make himself count at the batting crease. Hanuma Vihari did just that, with both ball and bat, for Sunrisers. Who’s next is the question?
The Hyderabad team also does not appear to be very sharp in the fielding department and Challengers have an edge on that count. With more balance in all three departments, the Bangalore side should be able to extract revenge. But then, the wicket has been on the livelier side. Dale Steyn was in the Bangalore camp earlier and he knows the conditions much better. Should it stay that way, the South African could turn out to be the man of the moment.
The Steyn vs Chris Gayle battle was restricted to the eliminator over and the West Indian batting maestro couldn’t carry his team to victory. The same bowler-batsman clash will go a long way in determining the eventual result on Tuesday.
Coming as they are with just a day’s rest in this brought-forward match, leg-weariness could play a vital part in performances; or otherwise, a 4 pm start could make it tougher. All the same, an intriguing tussle is surely in store.
In 12 matches overall with Hyderabad teams, RCB have won six and lost six (including the games involving Deccan Chargers).