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Royal Challengers Bangalore will host the Sunrisers Hyderabad in game four of the Indian Premier League. Bangalore will believe that this year belongs to them. In the team's ninth year in the IPL, the balance looks tantalising.
This side already packed with some heavy ammunition have further loaded on some more heavyweights. Being a dream team on paper, almost any cricket fan would know for certain that you cannot count this team out under any circumstance.
RCB is one of the most destructive forces when it comes to their batting line-up. They start off with a storm that is sure to knock the opponents socks off in Chris Gayle. If the heat of pressure is something that goes hand in hand with T20, Kohli treads on veins of ice and can manoeuvre any situation. Followed by a master of every shot in the book ever invented, this ingenious Superman 'AB de Villiers' defies the gravity of batting science. Follow this with the all-round services of Shane Watson, RCB would be raring to go once they enter that battlefield.
RCB have been dealt a blow as they will miss out on their star pacer Mitchell Starc due to injury. In his absence, the onus will be on RCB's newest recruit Adam Milne. Kane Richardson, Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, Harshal Patel and Sreenath Aravind are the options to round up the pace battery. RCB's spin department looks taken care of with the addition of Samuel Badree in their squad. Badree was instrumental in West Indies winning the T20 World Cup and will have a crucial role to play. Pair Badree with either Yuzvendra Chahal or Iqbal Abdulla and you have a potent duo of spin bowling. David Wiese and Stuart Binny will fight for a spot in the all-rounder's slot. The Indian talent in each side proves to be the turning point and RCB have some fine talent in Mandeep Singh, KL Rahul, Sarfaraz Khan and Kedar Jadhav. RCB have all the bases covered and it will be a question of going out and delivering when the time comes.
Their rivals on the other hand look more settled in the bowling department. With Boult, Nehra, Barinder Sran, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and now the newest sensation Mustafizur Rahman in their ranks. Sunrisers have a smart bowling attack that can feed off conditions against a threatening line up like RCB's. Mustafizur's off cutters and deception might set the tone for the overs to come.
Coming to their batting unit, Shikhar Dhawan, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson and skipper David Warner make for a devastating ensemble but Sunrisers will miss southpaw in Yuvraj Singh due to injury for the initial phase of the tournament.
Warner has been handed the mantle of captaincy and time will tell what luck his captaincy would hold for the orange army. The Sunrisers are devoid of a power-packed all-rounder that can come up with the goods for them. After the top order faltered, Moises Henriques rescued them time and again last season and it would be expected of him to shoulder that responsibility, come this season as well.
Deepak Hooda was one of the finds of IPL season 8. Hooda possesses the ability to change the complexion of a game within a jiffy and can be a match winner for Hyderabad. Hooda will also roll his arm and help Karn Sharma in an attempt to outfox the batsmen. Naman Ojha, Tirumalasetti Suman, Aditya Tare can all be dangerous at the Chinnaswamy even if their batting stint is short.
Watson will be seen donning the colours of red and black for the first time and he will be the cynosure of all eyes as he takes center stage for RCB. In Starc's absence, Watson's bowling smarts will be invaluable. Virat still has to figure out where he will fit into the batting line up considering Virat's own red hot form. Fix that piece of the puzzle and the gold might finally be headed our way this year.