Whether one realizes or not, the time of hubbub in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has arrived. Barring Chennai Super Kings (CSK), that too not mathematically, but practically, all the teams are yet very much in the contention of the playoffs race. And it is two of such teams – Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad – that will be busy fighting it out with each other at the Dubai International Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Looking closely, one would find more in common between these two than not. Both have, surely to their disliking, let many games slip from their grip despite being on the top; both have ample inexperienced though talented and promising players and both are teetering in the bottom half of the table with almost equal chances for qualifying for the next stage.
The Royals are entering this game after a convincing seven-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings in their last encounter. Some impressive bowling against an uninspired batting unit of CSK led RR to restrict them to an underwhelming total of 125 for five. In response, a familiar top-order collapse unfolded for the team as the top-three added only 23 runs between them. However, Steve Smith played a second fiddle to Jos Buttler, whose 48-ball 70 guided his team comfortably home.
On the other hand, David Warner’s army is coming in after a heart-wrenching Super Over defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders. In a bid to cater to Kane Williamson’s injury, Warner pushed himself lower down the order to promote the former to the opening slot alongside Jonny Bairstow. A 58-run stand at the top was an indicator of the ploy working moderately, although wickets falling at regular intervals in the middle-overs threw the SRH skipper under the pump.
Soaking the pressure, Warner did well to score 33-ball 47 batting at an alien position. Although all of it, to only see his side fall short by a run before eventually botching up the Super Over. Ideally, the clash is a must-win affair for both the teams as the Rajasthan Royals have four wins from ten games, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad have three from nine, and with time slipping out of hands, both the teams must know that the margin of error is dangerously low.
Pitch and conditions
The track at Dubai has thrown some competitive games for us to witness. All the batsmen who have applied themselves have reaped the results, whereas initial movement and turn from the wicket have kept the pacers and spinners interested respectively. With the track becoming slower with time, the teams would want to bat first upon winning the toss.
Playing Combinations for RR vs SRH
Despite questions around Jos Buttler’s position in the middle-order, the management seems to be happy placing the opening duties in the hands of Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes. After a string of low scores, Steve Smith has managed to bring himself back to form to some extent in the last couple of games. Although the same could not be said for Sanju Samson, who has continued to disappoint.
Jofra Archer continues to be the fulcrum of the bowling unit of the Royals, where the spin duo of Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia has chipped in well on occasions. Though the team brought in Ankit Rajpoot at the expense of Jayadev Unadkat, he was used for only a solitary over in the last game.
Probable XI- Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson (WK), Steve Smith (C), Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot/Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
The change in the opening order for SRH did not materialize too well, however, it did not fail either. It remains to be seen whether Kane Williamson will be available, and if so, where the Kiwi would bat. In his absence, the most ideal choice will be Mohammad Nabi, who has played only a single game this season.
Youngsters Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad will need to bat with more responsibility in the middle-order following Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar. Rashid Khan will be seen performing his regular duties whereas Sandeep Sharma and Natarajan will take care of the pace attack.
Probable XI- Jonny Bairstow (WK), Kane Williamson/Mohammad Nabi, Priyam Garg, David Warner (C), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi
RR vs SRH Head to Head
Played- 12 | RR won- 6 | SRH won- 6 | NR- 0
Match Timings- 7:30 PM (IST), 6:00 PM (Local).
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 Hindi
Live Streaming– Disney + Hotstar VIP
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals (RR) Full Schedule with Venue, Date, Match Timings and PDF Download
- IPL 2021: SWOT Analysis of Rajasthan Royals (RR)
- Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Rahul Tewatia gets engaged
- Rajasthan Royals react hilariously after fan asks them about their IPL 2021 auction strategy
- Rajasthan Royals appoint Kumar Sangakkara as Director of Cricket ahead of IPL 2021