The Indian Premier League 2017 is set to kick off in a day’s time with defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad and last year’s finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore taking on each other at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad.
Apart from having to deal with the pressure of facing last year’s champions, RCB will have their task cut out with their key players injured. It began with the news of Virat Kohli missing the first few matches due to an injury which he picked up in the third Test against Australia in Ranchi.
This was followed up by the news about KL Rahul missing the entire tournament due to a shoulder injury.
Just when things couldn’t get any worse, AB de Villiers injured his back and was forced out of the Momentum Cup final in South Africa. However, there was no confirmation about his missing any IPL matches until he tweeted about the same.
On the other hand, SRH will have to do without the services of star bowler Mustafizur Rahman who is being rested for the ICC Champions Trophy which will be held in June.
Just a day before the IPL, de Villiers, who was supposed to take up the side’s captaincy in Kohli’s absence tweeted saying that he would be missing the first game of the season and wished luck to stand-in captain Shane Watson and the rest of the team.
While most of the fans wished the South African a speedy recovery, Former New Zealand star Brendon Mccullum decided to engage in some banter. Baz, as he is fondly known felt that coach Daniel Vettori would have to come out to bowl with the increasing number of injuries in RCB’s camp.
de Villiers looked at the funny side of things and agreed with the Gujarat Lions batsman by saying that watching Vettori bowl would be great entertainment.
Baz too felt that Vettori, at the age of 38 would prove to be one of the best bowlers for the Bengaluru franchise.
With Baz and ABD entertaining fans off the field with their banter, let’s hope they set the stage on fire on the field as well. Mccullum is expected to open the innings for the Lions, while de Villiers will most probably make a return to the RCB side for their second game on April 8th.