Watson to lead Bangalore in IPL opener against the Sunrisers

April 5, 2017 GMT

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Australian Shane Watson will lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League’s opening match against the defending champion Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Bangalore’s first-choice captain Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, has already been ruled out of early stages of the tournament due to a right shoulder injury. And stand-in skipper A.B. de Villiers will be rested in the opening match because of a back injury.

Coach Daniel Vettori said that de Villiers still has some “minor discomfort,” but hopes the South African will play in Bangalore’s next match against the Delhi Daredevils at Bangalore on Saturday.

The Challengers’ 19-year-old batsman Sarfraz Ahmed could also miss the entire tournament after he sustained a leg injury during a practice session.

The Sunrisers, led by Australia test opener David Warner, do not have any injury problems. But their key fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman will miss at least the first two IPL matches because of Bangladesh’s one-day series against Sri Lanka.