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The Preview by Rachna Shetty
April 6, 2013
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Big PictureHeading into their first away match of IPL 2013, Royal Challengers Bangalore may start favourites but Sunrisers Hyderabad, with a victory as well in their opening game, showed they can be tough and determined opponents.
How formidable the Sunrisers' challenge will be depends largely on their batting order. With the exception of Thisara Perera, nobody really managed to take charge of the innings after getting a start. Against Royal Challengers, they will be tested against a stronger bowling attack.
Chris Gayle is fit for Royal Challengers after limping through a good part of his match-winning innings in their first game. Gayle, again, had a huge influence on his team's fortunes, but he could have done with more support during his unbeaten 92. He and Virat Kohli added 25 before Royal Challengers slipped to 80 for 5. Only KB Arun Karthik gave him company of any significance. Getting Gayle early offers Sunrisers' bowlers a strong chance of containing Royal Challengers.
On Sunday, Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan will be up against Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma on a track that could likely play the way it did in the low-scorer between Sunrisers and Pune Warriors. Royal Challengers would have noted Steyn's dominance in his first spell but playing Perera and Amit Mishra could prove just as challenging.
Players to watchAmit Mishra, the second-highest wicket-taker in the IPL, has bowled fairly consistently through the IPLs. Against Warriors, he brought out his variations to stifle the batsmen. Royal Challengers have good players of spin in Dilshan and Virat Kohli and as the lead spinner in the side, Mishra will have to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the opposition in check.
Tillakaratne Dilshan took the IPL by storm in 2009, scoring 418 runs for Delhi Daredevils. Since his shift to Royal Challengers, he's been an important member of the line-up, scoring more than 500 runs in 20 games. He would no doubt have rued the shot that got him out against Mumbai Indians, but with two centuries and a half-century in his last five innings, Dilshan will be eager to put that start behind him and get going in IPL 2013.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"It was probably a more bowler-friendly wicket. It was not a free-flowing wicket. You could not just go there and play your shots. The ball was not quite coming onto the bat." Dale Steyn on the track in the Sunrisers' first game
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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