Injuries, and plenty of them, is what RCB will have to deal with when they travel to Hyderabad to face SRH in the opening match of the IPL 2017 season on Wednesday.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have been plagued by injuries leading up to this 2017 campaign of the Indian Premier League.
KL Rahul is out for the entire season with a shoulder injury.
Virat Kohli will miss the first couple of weeks, at least, also with a shoulder problem.
AB De Villiers is out for the IPL 2017 opener against SRH, and possibly more, with a back issue.
And now, the batsman that RCB would have hoped would make some valuable runs in the absence of the three big-name players – Sarfaraz Khan – is most likely out for the season, having picked up a leg injury during a practice match.
That leaves RCB seriously short of options in the batting department, even if they do have a certain Chris Gayle to call upon at the top of the order.
There is also Shane Watson, who will captain the team until Kohli returns, with Travis Head now having a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to score big for his IPL team.
With Kohli, Rahul, De Villiers and Sarfaraz out, RCB will bank on runs from Gayle, Watson, Head, Kedar Jadhav and Mandeep Singh.
Jadhav, who is also expected to keep wickets, will be the one who will take the Indian run-scorer responsibility and having done so brilliantly for India in the ODI series against England earlier this year, a lot will be expected from him in IPL 2017.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad, the IPL 2016 champions, do not have that many injury problems, and for this first match, they should be able to go in with their preferred combination, sans Mustafizur Rahman, who is set to miss the opening match.
David Warner is the captain and the first name on the team sheet. So, that leaves three more slots for the overseas players.
With Mustafizur yet to join the team as he plays for Bangladesh in Sri Lanka, SRH could go with Chris Jordan – the Englishman could also come in as the fast bowling all-rounder, with Ben Cutting doing that job last season – or play the overseas spinner in Rashid Khan.
Playing Rashid would be a great story for everyone, because the leg-spinner would then become the first ever player from Afghanistan to play in the IPL. Mohammad Nabi is the other Afghanistan player in the squad, but he is unlikely to feature in this first game against RCB.
The Indian flag will be carried by Yuvraj Singh and Shikhar Dhawan in the batting department and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra in the bowling.
Confirmed playing XI:
SRH: David Warner (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha, Ben Cutting, Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
RCB: Chris Gayle, Shane Watson (C), Mandeep Singh, Travis Head, Kedar Jadhav, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tymal Mills, Aniket Choudhary, S Aravind.