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Cricket news - Erring RCB seek to overcome deliverance challenge against SRH

On paper, there is still no evident loophole for RCB. But deliverance has been their nemesis for quite some time now.

Deja vu!

Is there a more apt word to describe RCB's miseries this season? Once to spin, once to pace, they have found themselves enough reasons to ensure they aren't off the mark on the points table yet. The chinks that Parthiv Patel believes are 'too early' to be called out are in fact quintessentially RCB - from the errors in judgement to losing the plot at crucial points. The manner in which they lost the game that they should have won against MI only a few days ago was as classic of them as they found their perfectly balanced team crumble in the tournament opener against CSK.

On paper, there is still no evident loophole. But deliverance has been their nemesis for quite some time now. What looks like a good collection of players, have rarely come together and fired consistently. And there is bound to be very little room for the kind of lapses they made in the first two games to be replicated in Hyderabad.

Sunrisers have their tail up already, having registered their most successful run-chase on Friday. David Warner has shown no signs of rustiness, Jonny Bairstow is swimming safely in the IPL waters and Vijay Shankar has only improved his reputation as a hitter. The top four look compact, while the middle order is yet to be tested adequately.

However, the red flags are already up for them - with the death bowlers taking a severe beating in the first two games. For as strong as their Indian domestic pace stock is, it looks severely inadequate when Bhuvneshwar Kumar is proving ineffective. Even if Andre Russell's late assault can be overlooked, conceding 45 runs in his last 12 balls on his home ground has already propped questions over his current form, and whether his tricks with variations have been figured out.

Even as neither team has ample reasons to make changes to their playing XI, irrespective of how the tournament has panned out for them so far, Sunrisers might be tempted to have an offspinner in their side to counter the four lefties in the top seven for RCB. But with Mohammad Nabi being the only option in that regard, the problem will be over which foreign player to drop to make room for the Afghan.

When: March 31, 2019, Sunday, 16:00 IST

Where: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

What to expect: Even as dew shouldn't be a factor, another high-scoring encounter is on the cards. Temperature should hover from late 20s to mid 30s.

Team News:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: With Sunrisers Hyderabad's bowling facing some stick in the last two games, they might be keen on having a better spin option in place of Shahbaz Nadeem. With RCB expected to play four left-handers in the top 7, the hosts might be tempted to bring in Mohammad Nabi. However, with Jonny Bairstow looking good at the top of the order, it will be a tough call for the team management to make.

Probable XI: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul

Royal Challengers Bangalore: RCB may tweak their batting line-up, but the XI as such should be the same.

Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dubey, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

What they said:

"Me and Jonny have partnered really well since Kolkata. There have been a few hiccups with him trying to get off the mark, I have been hogging the strike a little bit, but over the years I have been held back a little bit." David Warner, Sunrisers Hyderabad opener, on his partnership with Jonny Bairstow.

"It has just been two games and I do not think fixing an opening slot is in our minds at the moment. It is just that we thought on a wicket that was spinning, a left-right combination would do well (vs CSK). With Moeen (Ali), he is a free-flowing batsman. If both lefties are opening the innings it gives slight an advantage. Mumbai Indians did not have an offspinner. There are a lot of tactical changes and strategically you try and move around your (batting) order. We do not have a fixed plan." - Parthiv Patel, RCB wicketkeeper.

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