We are not that far away from the season opener of Indian Premier League 2017. The two finalists of season 2016 will participate in the opening contest of Indian Premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday to kick-off IPL 2017. It’s the 10th season of the cash-rich tournament, can you believe it? Yes! Scandals and success have been a part and parcel of this T20 tournament but this is the league that has taken Indian cricket to the paramount. It’s the most popular and most loved T20 league not only in India, but throughout the globe. From season 1 to the upcoming 10th season of this league, it has been an upward climb for the organizers and the young talented players who are a part of it. These two months of cricket can make and break careers of young cricketers. It’s a platform that gives money, fame and recognition to young budding cricketers in the country.
Season opener without Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers!
Coming back to the opening contest, defending champions will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore who’ll be without the services of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers on Wednesday. Two players who have made RCB one of the most popular teams in the several seasons will miss out in the first match of the season and that’ll something that RCB fans and supporters would not want.
Addition of Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan!
On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad have only gone a step further and increased the chances of defending their IPL title by getting some T20 special talent with the likes Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Ben Laughlin in their squad. These players make their bowling unit look more effective and one to be feared of. Players like David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques and Ben Cutting provide them with the firepower needed in this format of cricket.
Venue – Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, Deccan, Hyderabad – The Sunrisers Hyderabad had an excellent time playing at their home stadium in Hyderabad last year. The fans cheered for the home team and David Warner’s men did not disappoint their fans who came out to support them in numbers. Looking at the players SRH have picked in IPL 2017, we can expect the track to assist spin, especially with Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Pravin Tambe, being the hot buys of the year.
Players to watch out for in the season opener – It’s a big match and both teams would be looking to start their campaign on a winning note. From Royal Challengers Bangalore, you can expect the six-machine Chris Gayle to fire as he loves to make statements early on during such T20 tournaments. He has done it in the past and hence there are chances, he might do it again.
And if he does not fire there always a top-class all-rounder in the form of Shane Watson who can do the same amount of damage. The stand-in skipper of the Challengers has the abilities to take down oppositions on his day. He failed in the grand finale against SRH in 2016, hence he’ll be desperate to take the revenge against Warner’s men on Wednesday.
Players to pick in Fantasy teams – Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, David Warner, Rashid Khan, Tymal Mills, Mohammad Nabi – There is a limitation of taking 4 overseas players in your fantasy teams and the reason is clear, because they are the impact players. All of them are proven match winners and can win a T20 contest single-handedly. Out of these mentioned players, you can pick any 4. Such big players like to make their presence felt soon in the tournament, so make your choices wisely. All-rounders can provide points with the bat, with the ball and in the field.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are the favorites to win the opening contest but if Chris Gayle and Shane Watson get going, it’s not only difficult but impossible to stop the likes of Gayle-storm and Watto-power!!