Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Preview

Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Preview

Tomorrow, we will have two teams facing off who have had extremely contrasting seasons so far. SRH began their season with 2 out of 2 losses. But then in the next 4 games, they bounced back and won 3! Rajasthan Royals on the other hand, began their season with 2 out of 2 wins. But then blundered away their chances by losing all of their next 4 games. So needless to say, going into this game, the momentum will definitely be with SRH.

Sunrisers Hyderabad Probable XI

  1. David Warner* (c)
  2. Jonny Bairstow* (wk)
  3. Manish Pandey
  4. Kane Williamson*
  5. Priyam Garg
  6. Abdul Samad
  7. Abhishek Sharma
  8. Rashid Khan*
  9. Thingarasu Natarajan
  10. Sandeep Sharma
  11. Khaleel Ahmed

On paper this SRH team really doesn’t look that strong. They only have 5 international players in their XI after all. But their youngsters aren’t as meek as one might expect. In fact, the youngsters have stepped up in many of the games, and dare I say, have outperformed some of the seniors too. In their young batsmen department, they have the U-19 captain Priyam Garg, and the hard-hitting all rounder fom Kashmir – Abdul Samad. Priyam Garg shone in their victory against CSK, where he also won Man Of The Match for his quickfire half-century. Abdul Samad has shown his power quotient on several occasions, and had gained enough trust to be sent above both Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey when a quick knock was needed!

SRH’s Fasties – Who can’t bowl fast ones

SRH also has the biggest Indian pace battery in the tournament. T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed are the 3 pacers playing for them, but they also have people like Siddharth Kaul, Basil Thampi and Vijay Shankar on the bench! Add to this Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is out of this season with an injury, but is still a part of their squad. The irony however, is that despite having all these pacers, SRH have only bowled 5 deliveries above 140 km/h speed in this whole IPL! This is the lowest among all the teams, by a margin. But hey, if it works well, it doesn’t matter how appealing it is.

The Orange Fab 4

No matter how good the young and uncapped players perform, the heart and soul of this SRH team will remain their overseas ‘Fab 4’. Their opening duo of Bairstow and Warner has exceeded even the expectations from them, and both of them are in the Top 5 in the race for the Orange Cap (most runs scored in the tournament). Rashid Khan has slowly come into his element as the season progressed. After a poor-ish start (by his gargantuan standards), he has displayed better bowling than the previous game every time he has walked out, with the highlight being his spell of 3-12 against KXIP. Kane Williamson has certainly been less impactful than the others, but that may be because he has been continually sent to bat after Manish Pandey. In this game, I believe Kane should be promoted ahead of Manish Pandey. This should bolster his game, and we might just see the Kane Williamson of 2018.

Rajasthan Royals Probable XI

  1. Jos Buttler* (wk)
  2. Manan Vohra
  3. Steve Smith* (c)
  4. Sanju Samson
  5. Ben Stokes*
  6. Mahipal Lomror
  7. Rahul Tewatia
  8. Jofra Archer*
  9. Shreyas Gopal
  10. Kartik Tyagi
  11. Varun Aaron

This season has been RR’s worst ever season in their history. 4 continuous losses is not what this team is made of. Part of the problem is that they are making so many changes to the XI in every game! No youngster has been backed, and they’ve been made to feel like they are playing for their place in the side in every single game. But now that they’ve set this trend, they better continue it. Yashasvi Jaiswal has to go. I’m sorry, I really admire him and his struggle, but he’s just not ready for the IPL yet. He doesn’t have the muscle power to hit sixes on a ground like Sharjah, let alone Dubai, where this game will be played. The seasoned IPL veteran Manan Vohra might come good of he is given a chance, and if he is doing half good in training sessions, he really should replace Yashasvi.

TO BEn or NOT TO BEn – Part 2

Ben Stokes finally came out from his quarantine today. But with just a day’s practice, will Stokes risk injury and play this game? The coaches will have quite the decision on their hands choosing whether or not to play Stokes. If Stokes ends up not playing, RR will probably continue with Andrew Tye even though he was somewhat disappointing in his Royals debut yesterday. This will strengthen their bowling, but the real problem for RR this season has turned out to be their batting, which will remain stranded until Stokes returns. If he does play, I’m calling a match-winning display from him.

The Pink Fab 4

In contrast to SRH’s ‘seniors’, RR’s seniors have really let them down this year. Barring Jofra Archer, all the other experienced players have disappeared when they were most needed. Jos Buttler has failed to cross even 25 runs in any of the games except his unhelpful 70 against MI. Sanju Samson, who is supposed to be ‘the most talented young batsman in India’, has scores of 8, 4, 0 and 5 since those two good innings at Sharjah. Steve Smith, who is actually supposed to be the best batsman in the world, has scores of 3, 5, 6 and 24 (at Sharjah, that’s basically a 2) since those two innings at Sharjah. 2 hit wonders much? I’m especially enraged at Steve Smith because he has repeated his mistakes time and again! He is an anchor, but he tries to go for the glory shots and be the hero. I hope he realises his role in the game tomorrow, and plays a long innings and holds the team together like glue, what he does best.

Prediction – I have predicted an RR win in every single RR game till now. And I’m not going to beak the trend for the Sunrisers, hello! I stuck by my team against MI and DC, I have to stick by them against SRH. I’m gunning for an RR win.

My Current Prediction Counter – 16-9

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