David Warner vs Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB De Villiers. Not a fair contest that, considering Warner has to do it all alone for the Sunrisers Hyderabad when they play the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a mouthwatering IPL 2016 encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday.
That fact that the over-reliance on Warner has not changed was evident in the manner in which SRH folded against the Rising Pune Supergiants in their last game. However, when Warner does fire, this Sunrisers unit look a dangerous side. With Gayle returning to the RCB team and Kohli and De Villiers in terrific form, this IPL 2016 match in Hyderabad promises plenty of runs.
Here is a look at who might come up trumps in the end in this SRH vs RCB IPL 2016 match.
If SRH bat first: Warner falls early again, but Shikhar Dhawan, this time, instead of playing a watchful innings, goes gung-ho, and with Aditya Tare smashing a few at the other end as well, the Sunrisers rack up 50 on the board in the first six overs. Kohli is already left wondering about his bowlers at this point, but that mystery chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi comes in and befuddles Dhawan and Eoin Morgan to leave SRH in a spot of bother. However, Tare, Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda, who finally finds some form, take the Sunrisers to 163.
Kohli finally fails to make a mark with the bat this time, surprisingly falling early in a chase, with De Villiers also going for 20-odd. But, just when it looks like SRH have a stranglehold on this game, courtesy the wickets of the two in-form batsmen, one picked up by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the other by Ashish Nehra, Gayle decides it is time to light up IPL 2016. The left-hander starts smashing sixes at will, leaving even the home crowd cheering. His assault of 75 from 43 balls, with even the unhittable Mustafizur Rahman not spared, sets up an easy enough finish for RCB, with Shane Watson and Sarfaraz Khan doing the rest.
If RCB bat first: Kohli and Gayle put on a 50-run partnership, giving RCB just the start they need. However, two quick wickets, of Gayle and De Villiers, leaves the door open just a little bit for the Sunrisers. Kohli, though, stays calm at one end, while Shane Watson finds his big-hitting groove at the other. With a little help from the lower order, RCB manage to post 165 in their first innings.
The Warner wicket is key and Kohli goes all out to try and take the left-hander's wicket, giving his bowlers an attacking field. Nevertheless, that field changes once Warner spanks three boundaries in an over. With Dhawan looking confident at the other end and Warner finding his rhythm as well, the Sunrisers openers ally for 93 runs for the first wicket. Warner is the first wicket to fall, in the 11th over, to Shamsi, but Dhawan shows that he really is back in form, anchoring the innings to perfection. Morgan, Hooda and Henriques contribute a little as well as SRH reach the target in the 19th over.