Two months of grueling cricket, two months of seeing new heroes being created on the pitch, two months of jubilation, two months of scheduling your entire day according to the match and two months of witnessing some of the best cricket in years. All of this comes to an end today. Normalcy is going to set in again, but that is only as far as cricket is concerned. For a sport fan, major events life the Euro and the Olympics are just round the corner, along with the ongoing French Open. So, while it may be a sad time to be a cricket fan, it is an amazing time to be a sport fan because at the end of the day ‘Sab Khel Hai’.
David Warner, with is big hitting skills has always been a good T20 Batsman. But in this season he has taken the leap from good to great. And the major reason for that being, him shouldering a lot of responsibility and delivering on thse responsibilities in almost every game. Whenever he has got going, he has never thrown it away, the determination and the hunger to take your team over the line has completely transformed him as a batsman. And his innings in the last game was a complete testament to that. He made sure he stayed till the end and got the job done, a clear indication of how much this means to him.
The Lions would feel a little jiffy about their entire playoff performance. Batsmen not clicking, bowlers unable to finish off the job and one opposition batsman just not ready to give up. They would consider themselves unlucky to have met ABD and Warner on their day but it had more to do with the failure of their top order than the failure of the bowlers to pick up wickets and finish off the game.
Let’s get to business now!
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Two teams that have never won the IPL, two teams that have always been guilty of underachieving and two teams that have arguably played the best cricket during the last 2 months.
While David Warner has almost single handedly carried his batting unit for the entirety of the tournament, Virat Kohli has been supported really well by AB De Villiers, and that is something which might shift the balance in RCBs favour.
But when you look at the bowling unit of these two sides, SRH clearly have an upper hand, despite the resurgence of the RCB bowlers in the last few games. It’s going to be a clear shootout between the two best bowlers of this season against the two best batsmen of this season (and probably of this generation). We’ll have to wait and see as to which pair trumps the other.
Now, I already have David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Barinder Sran and Deepak Hooda in my team for this game. And with 4 transfers and 1 uncapped substitution, I’ll be able to field 11 players today.
The first two substitutions are going to be the most obvious ones in Kohl and ABD. They have just changed the way the T20 game is played. While Kohli opts for a more circumspect approach at the start, ABD takes the attack to the opposition right from the first ball. Kohli therefore is a little more consistent than ABD, but when ABD strikes the ball well, he scores at a far brisker rate than Kohli. Get both of them in, as we could be in for a Kohli-ABD show tonight.
Now, as I already have 3 overseas players in my team, it’s going to be a straight shootout between overs and might come in handy with the bat. Whereas Gayle will be up against Bhuvi upfront and Bhuvi has always gotten the better of him. But then when Chris Gayle bats, logic goes out the window and hence this a call that you need to take, whether to go with a sound logic or with Chris Gayle (I’ll be bringing in Shane Watson).
For my last substitution of IPL 2016, I get in one from Lokesh Rahul and Sreenath Aravind, and it depends on the toss. If, RCB bat first, I’ll get in Lokesh Rahul and if RCB bowl first, I’ll get in Aravind. The scoreboard pressure could get to Rahul, whilst batting second and thus I leave him out in that case.
For the uncapped player, I get in Yuzi Chahal. He is the most bankable option out of all the possible uncapped players in today’s final. Iqbal Abdullah ad he, both will be up against 3 left handers in SRH, but Yuzi has a brilliant ‘googly’ in his repertoire, which could work in his favour. Your next best option would be Bipul Sharma.
Now, if you can, you should get in Yuvi for this game, as it doesn’t look that any RCB bowler could trouble him a lot, except may be Shane Watson’s slow bouncers.
So, there is forecast for rain today and thus it would make sense to make a player who is going to play in the first innings, your captain.
Batting Captain: David Warner(if SRH Bat first)/ ABD(if RCB bat first)
Bowling captain: Bhuvaneshwar Kumar(if SRH bowl first)/ Shane Watson(if RCB bowl first)