Royal Challengers Bangalore, who lost the first game against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by a fair margin, would look to put behind the opening defeat and aim for their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 10 when they take on Delhi Daredevils at Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Saturday. RCB are struggling without their regular skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and KL Rahul. While Kohli and De villiers are expected to be fit soon, Rahul has been ruled out of the entire season. Talented Sarfaraz Khan will most likely be unavailable for the season after hurting himself on the field during a practice match. Shane Watson, who looked out of sorts in the previous game and struggled with both bat and ball, would conitnue to lead the side as an interim captain.
The absence of big names from the team has had an effect as RCB went down to defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by 35 runs in the inaugural match.
On a belter of a pitch at Hyderabad, veteran Yuvraj Singh smashed 62 off 27 balls to steer the Sunrisers to 207 for four and in reply RCB, were bundled out for 172 in 19.4 overs. This was the first time in 23 matches that Bangalore were all out.
However, Bangalore would be hoping that their destructive batsmen Chris Gayle and Watson -- both of whom are capable of destroying any opposition on their day -- come good against a depleted Delhi on Saturday. The good and the positive thing which goes in RCB's favour is that they will be playing at their own den.
A lot will depend on top five of the RCB side which will make or break the batting department. Chris Gayle and Mandeep Singh will again open the innings with Travis Head at number three, Kedar Jadhav at four and Shane watson coming in at five.
In the bowling department, they would depend on Tymal Mills, an expensive buy at the IPL 2017 auction, and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both of them had picked just one wicket each in the last game.
With Aniket Choudhary and Sreenath Aravind averaging over 10, Watson might opt for Kiwi pacer Adam Milne and Samuel Badree.
Meanwhile, the Daredevils, who have been the worst performing side in the nine previous IPL seasons, would be desperately looking to get a few wins early on to bolster their fragile confidence.
But the picture does not look so rosy with injuries to some of their star players.
They have lost South Africans Quinton De Kock and Jean-Paul Duminy for the entire tournament, affecting their balance. While Duminy pulled out citing personal reasons, de Kock had suffered a tendon damage on his right index finger during the Test series against New Zealand.
Shreyas Iyer, the flamboyant batsman, has been ruled out for at least a week due to chickenpox.
Sri Lankan Angelo Matthews also has injury worries along with Mohammad Shami.
In bowling, captain Zaheer Khan who will be spearheading the attack, has not bowled so far this season and thus there are question marks over him.
However, Daredevils have the likes of West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite and Aussie pacer Pat Cummins to lend the team experience and firepower.
Delhi would also bank on aggressive New Zealander Corey Anderson to win them a few games.
RCB: Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Shane Watson (capt), Kedar Jadhav (wk), Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Aniket Choudhary, Yuzvendra Chahal, Pawan Negi, Harshal Patel, Adam Milne, Iqbal Abdulla, Samuel Badree, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (capt), Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings
(With PTI inputs)