Sunrisers Hyderabad were brilliant last season, and their performance in their first match shows the players are determined for a splendid IPL 2017.
Runs and more runs should be the flavour of the match when SRH take on Gujarat Lions on Sunday.
Teams understand the need to start well in the highly competitive IPL as losing a few matches up front could put them on the backfoot straight away. Gujarat Lions would be keen to avoid any mishaps after their loss to Kolkata Knight Riders. And back-to-back matches mean that the task will only get difficult for Gujarat Lions.
The question remains: Can GL come up with an all-round performance to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad?
Hers is the prediction of the SRH vs GL encounter – how it might shape up:
If Sunrisers Hyderabad bat first
SRH suffer a poor start, Shikhar Dhawan is gone in the second over of the day, and things go from bad to worse as Moises Henriques falls in the fourth over. The two left-handers, David Warner and Yuvraj Singh, are unperturbed with the fall of early wickets as they play a counter-attacking form of cricket, and the GL are on the back foot.
Yuvraj goes berserk and the Indian star is on his way towards a brilliant half-century, from just 23 balls. Warner and Yuvraj are entertaining the crowd in the middle. In no time, SRH reach their hundred in the 11th over.
Though the Australian falls for 39 runs, Yuvraj hits some lusty blows before getting out for 80 runs. Ben Cutting plays a cameo at the end to help SRH pose 190 runs.
The GL, under pressure, start well with Brendon McCullum and Jason Roy playing their shots to help the visitors stay in the game with 50 runs from the first six overs. However, while trying to up the ante, both the batsmen lose their wickets, and the task becomes difficult for GL as they lose wickets at regular intervals.
With GL scoring 100 runs for four big wickets down in the 12th over, they crumble like a pack of cards to be dismissed for 140 runs, resulting in their second straight loss.
If Gujarat Lions bat first
McCullum and Roy deliver the goods in the first six overs, striking at a good rate. However, with the dismissal of the former New Zealand star, Raina joins in, but the skipper fails to perform. Finch and Roy play some sensible cricket, and the duo looks good to put up a huge score.
Roy completes his half-century, but both the players fall immediately after, bringing two new batsmen at the crease. Karthik and Fulkner finish their innings well, with some big shots in the last four overs to score 160 runs in 20 overs.
Warner goes on with the business for SRH, taking on the GL bowlers, and he is scoring runs freely. Shikhar, on the other hand, has not faced many balls, and the left-hander is back to the dugout after scoring 21 runs. Henriques goes for a duck, and in walks Yuvraj, who strikes the first ball he faces for a six. That was just a teaser for the home fans as Warner and Yuvraj both score half centuries to win their second match on a trot.