Bangalore big guns target Guyana
Sunday, September 12
Start time 1730 (1530 GMT)
For the third day in a row, an IPL team with a wagonload of stars will take on low-profile opponents. Royal Challengers Bangalore have plenty of experience in their ranks, a bevy of big-hitters, and enough South African flavour to start as favourites against Guyana.
Bangalore will have fond memories of South Africa, having finished runners-up in the IPL last year. It was midway through that tournament that they installed Anil Kumble at the helm, after fumbling under Rahul Dravid in the first season and then Kevin Pietersen for the initial part of the 2009 season. With South African Ray Jennings as coach, and senior player Jacques Kallis also hailing from the country, Kumble can tap into a wealth of local knowledge.
On the other hand, not only do Guyana have few players with substantial international experience, most of the squad haven't played in South African conditions as well. However, they can take inspiration from their Caribbean rivals, Trinidad & Tobago, who also hadn't played much in the subcontinent, but won hearts with their fearless cricket as they stormed to the finals of the inaugural Champions League Twenty20.
Guyana captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, smarting from losing out on a national contract, has warned that the youngsters are capable of springing surprises and said that they want to go one better than T&T did last season.
Watch out for...
Ross Taylor warmed up for the tournament by smoking 66 off 29 against a strong Victoria side earlier this week. Bangalore will look to him to continue that form, after forking out $200,000 to Central Districts to secure his services for the next couple of weeks.
The pocket-sized Jonathan Foo, little known before the Caribbean T20, emerged as a player to watch after quickfire cameos sealed victory for Guyana several times in that tournament. The best of those cameos was a 17-ball 42 against Barbados in the final.
Dale Steyn v Guyana openers: Travis Dowlin and Sewnarine Chattergoon are two of Guyana's more experienced batsmen, and the onus will be on them to blunt the threat of Steyn in his home conditions.
Bishoo v Bangalore middle order: Devendra Bishoo scooped 11 wickets and the Man-of-the-Series award in the Caribbean T20 with his legspinners. If he can replicate that form against a line-up that includes renowned six-hitters such as Taylor, Cameron White and Robin Uthappa, Guyana's prospects will brighten considerably.
Stats and trivia
- In four Twenty20 matches so far in his career, Foo has a strike-rate of 210.20 and has been dismissed only once.
- Cameron White is two big hits short of becoming the seventh man to reach the landmark of 100 career sixes. The leader is his team-mate, Taylor, with 147 sixes
"He has a great future ahead of him. I think he could be another Kieron Pollard"
Ramnaresh Sarwan predicts big things for Jonathan Foo
"Last five days have been good. Boys are doing well. Practice matches we've had, have been good. Looking forward to the match tonight."
Anil Kumble on Bangalore's preparations
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo