Bangalore elect to bat against Cape Cobras
Royal Challengers captain Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat against Cape Cobras in the inaugural Champions League T20 match in Bangalore on Thursday.
The pressure will certainly be on hosts RCB. Having qualified for the CL T20 thanks to their runners-up status in the second edition of the Indian Premier League, barely one year after they brought up the rear in the first IPL - ironically one place above IPL II winners Deccan Chargers - the expectations are now higher.
No-hopers when season two began, they now find themselves as one of the fancied sides in the tournament that will decide the world's best domestic T20 side.
Their side is not exactly about domestic players though, even if two of the biggest names from the state are part of Indian cricket folklore.
Skipper Anil Kumble and his long time compatriot Rahul Dravid played their parts well in IPL-2 with some good support from Kiwi Ross Taylor and South Africans Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe. That will pretty much be the rule even now.
Like in the IPL, only four players from outside India are allowed to play and with the likes of Praveen Kumar and the ever impressive local lad R Vinay Kumar making up the pace attack along with Kallis, there can be no place for Steyn, one of the world's fastest bowlers.
Royal Challengers: Anil Kumble (Capt.), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Balachandra Akhil, Rajesh Bishnoi, Mark Boucher, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli Praveen Kumar, Manish Pandey, Dale Steyn, Ross Taylor, Robin Uthappa, Roelof van der Merwe, Vinay Kumar, Jesse Ryder.
Cape Cobras: Andrew Puttick (Capt.), Derek Brand, Ryan Canning, Henry Davids, Jean-Paul Duminy, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Herschelle Gibbs, Claude Henderson, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Richard Levi, Justin Ontong, Vernon Philander, Francois Plaatjies, Monde Zondeki, Graeme Smith.