RCB kick off IPL V campaign against Delhi
For the Daniel Vettori-led Bangalore, it would be their first outing of the season and with an explosive line-up of batsmen, West Indian swashbuckler Chris Gayle being their biggest star, the almost-there team of 2011 would look to go the whole hog this time.
Bangalore would hope that Vettori can carry forward the legacy of Anil Kumble and bring the same zest that he brought to his national team while at the helm of perennial underdogs but proven giant-killers New Zealand. Besides Gayle, Bangalore would also expect fireworks from the Indian national team`s in-form batsman Virat Kohli.
The Delhiite, whose sensational run with the bat in the tour of Australia and the Asia Cup made as many headlines as India`s wretched run in both the outings, will look to continue the fine form.
Daredevils, on the other hand, have got the perfect start to their campaign after Irfan Pathan scored a brisk unbeaten 42 to guide them to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-curtailed 12-overs-a-side lung-opener on Thursday night. Their bowling was the key as Morne Morkel scalped three wickets 3 for 18 runs, while Umesh Yadav and Roelof van der Merwe bagged two apiece to restrict the Knight Riders to 97 for nine.
Chasing the small total, Aaron Finch (30 from 27 balls) and skipper Virender Sehwag (20 off 13) gave the Daredevils a solid start putting on 49 for the opening wicket.
The Daredevils, however, will be without the services of big names like Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and David Warner in as they are busy playing for their respective countries.
Besides, Kiwi Ross Taylor is also unavailable after he broke his hand during the third Test against South Africa recently.
With key players missing for the first half of the event, Sehwag will have to take the extra load in along with Naman Ojha and Venugopal Rao. A lot of hopes are also pinned on their new signing, West Indies` Andre Russell who would like to make an impact with the bat at the big stage.
The spin line-up, however, looks a bit raw with left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem leading the attack and which will also have Roelf van der Merwe.