In their first home game of the season, Sunrisers Hyderabad takes on Rajasthan Royals at Uppal, Hyderabad. Both the teams have suffered defeat in their opening games. Sunrisers pace trio couldn’t defend 61 at the death against the might of Andre Russell. On the contrary Rajasthan batsmen fell like nine pins and couldn’t score 50 from the last five overs against Kings XI Punjab.
Since 2013, SRH has hosted the Royals twice and on both occasions the home team were on the right side of the table. The average score in the ground is expected to around 153. The pacers have a better record than the spinners which gives an outright advantage to the home team who have a quality seam bowling attack.
Now let’s take a look at the performance of Sunrisers and Rajasthan pacers in the previous edition.
The might of SRH bowling was such that they could successfully defend totals of 120 and 130 at will. Last year Siddarth Kaul had a strike rate of 19.2 in the power plays (1-6) but their performance in the middle overs made the difference. Siddarth and Sandeep had constructed a strong bowling choking the opposition by not taking wickets but being too miser.
At the death they had the ever reliable Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who took wickets every 15 balls. From Royals only Jaydev Unadkat stood out tall in terms of performance. He had a strike rate of 15.7 at the death but was conceding at over 10 runs per over.
Apart from the pacers, the leg spinners have done well at this ground. They have a better strike-rate compared to off spinners. Spinners like Mayank Markande, Amit Mishra and Rashid khan have all done well at this venue. In fact, Markande picked a four-fer after conceding 23 runs in his allotted four overs.
Dependency on Jos Buttler
Since Buttler started to open for the Royals his game totally took a U-turn. Buttler played as opener in 6 matches and scored a staggering 428 runs with a batting average of over 100. He single-handedly won matches for his side with his cool temperament and big hitting ability. He scored a back to back nineties against CSK and MI and remained not out till the end.
He started with the same tempo where he left in 2018. Chasing a target of 184 in their opening match against Kings XI Punjab Buttler once again provided a flying start but as soon as buttler got out in the 13th over due to a controversial mankading Rajasthan’s batting collapsed miserably. The middle order consisting of Smith, Stokes, Samson and Tripathi couldn’t score 75 in 7 overs. Royals missed the services of Smith and their overseas superstar Ben Stokes could only 196 runs in 11 games with a poor average of 16.33.
SRH was facing a similar issue with Williamson scoring the bulk of runs at the top. The return of warner and newbie, Jonny Bairstow will provide stability at the top. Warner scored a splendid 53 ball 85 in his return and never looked like he was out of the game for a year.
Rahane vs Bhuvi
Bhuvi has troubled many batsmen with his accurate line, length and the ability to move the ball both ways, the Royals captain Rahane was no exception. Rahane has a low strike rate of 90.6 and has been dismissed on six occasions by the speedster.
Probable Playing XI:
Sunrisers Hyderabad- David Warner, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Billy Stanlake
Rajasthan Royals- Jos Buttler (wk), Ajinkya Rahane (c), Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Raul Tripathi, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat