In a repeat of the final from last year, this years opening match in IPL 10 will see defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The team from Hyderabad will be playing on their home turf and will hope to take advantage of it and make an impact with from the start. They face an injury-hit RCB who will be captained by Shane Watson. A host of injuries has resulted in three top batsmen being sidelined from the first team squad. KL Rahul is out for the season to a shoulder injury. The availability of Kohli (shoulder) and AB De Villiers is still in doubt and so is 19-year old batsman Sarfaraz Khan remains uncertain.
However, RCB will hope that their overseas talent, including Chris Gayle, Shane Watson and Tymal Mills come good as they are all match winners on their own.
Likely first XI
Shane Watson (c), Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tymal Mills, Aniket Choudhary, Samuel Badree
Meanwhile, having won its maiden IPL crown SRH have tweaked their winning side a little bit. During the auctions held earlier this year, SRH bought two Afghan players Rashid Khan (Rs 4 crore) and Mohammad Nabi (Rs 30 lakh) and this made all the headlines. A lot will be expected from 18-year-old Rashid Khan as he leads the spin attack for the Sun Risers Hyderabad. However, the only cause of concern will be over last season’s star, Mustafizur Rahman’s participation.
With not much injuries in the squad SRH will be raring to go and aim to emulate Chennai Super Kings feat of winning two IPL crowns on the trot.
Likely first XI