The volatile journey of the Rajasthan Royals continues in the Indian Premier League. With the tournament approaching the halfway mark, they have once again left themselves with a lot to be desired, sitting only above their rivals on Sunday, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Marred by injuries and exits, they have little to work around personnel. IPL 2020’s MVP never showed up, one of the world’s best all-rounder flew back breaking his finger, two other’s cited concerns around Covid-19 to take midway exits. With Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Andrew Tye, and Liam Livingstone out, all Royals were left with was as many overseas options as they can permissibly include in an IPL eleven (four). They have called in Rassie van der Dussen as cover later, though.
Of their current overseas, Jos Buttler’s season (six games, 130 runs, average 21.66, SR 127.45) has been disappointing, to say the least. The Royals would both expect and pray for his newfound momentum against Mumbai Indians to continue. Alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal, Buttler provided a brisk start to the team: something they have desperately lacked in the last two seasons.
The other overseas recruit, David Miller, has been poorly utilized by the team. In the last encounter, he batted below Shivam Dube and faced no more than four balls. The most expensive IPL buy, Chris Morris did not get even a chance to bat. If the Royals’ mismanagement continues, getting back to winning ways will continue to remain a distant dream.
Languishing at the bottom of the table are Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have slid to five defeats in six games and have put their unbeaten streak of Playoff qualification running since 2016 in danger. Much like the Royals, who lost to Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets and have no winning momentum. SRH is entering the contest with two successive defeats behind them, the recent most being against Chennai Super Kings by the same margin.
Their captain took complete responsibility for batting slowly in an innings bejeweled with personal landmarks of 200 IPL sixes and 10,000 T20I runs, but it came in a losing cause, and perhaps even became the cause of loss. An uncharacteristic 55-ball 57, which included countless grunts and groans as Warner failed to hit the ball to his liking.
An off-balance middle-order and an off-color Warner has left too much weight for Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow to carry, leaving one of the most consistent IPL teams in the dangerous territory of reducing itself to two faces. Neither Bairstow nor Williamson seems to complain about their team’s overdependence upon them, but in a game of opponents’ eleven versus SRH’s two, they cannot bring victories all the time.
If the batting is carried by them, SRH’s bowling unit has reduced to Rashid Khan in the absence of T Natarajan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. They have managed only two powerplay wickets in the season, the least for any team, with one of the best bowlers in that territory, Sandeep Sharma, lacking bite, and Khaleel Ahmed and Siddharth Kaul failing to find any rhythm whatsoever. SRH has well and truly given no reason to not find themselves where they are in 2021.
Pitch and conditions
The Delhi track has generally remained flat in the two encounters so far, with both games being won by the chasers. This being a day encounter, there will be no say of dew. Plus entering May, the heat is soaring in the subcontinent. Therefore, the teams could opt to bat.
Playing Combinations for RR vs SRH
They are likely to field the same eleven that took a beating against Mumbai Indians.
Predicted XI: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (C & WK), Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if fit, will walk straight into the eleven.
Predicted XI: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Rashid Khan, Jagadeesh Suchith/Shahbaz, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Sandeep Sharma
RR vs SRH Head to Head
Played – 13 | Sunrisers Hyderabad – 7 | Rajasthan Royals – 6
RR vs SRH Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 3:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar
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