The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are back on track with a thumping win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). As for Rajasthan Royals (RR), everything has gone south. In Match 26, an exuberant Sunrisers team will go up against a deflated Rajasthan team at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The only respite for Rajasthan could be the return of their ace allrounder Ben Stokes. However, Stokes return is subjected to the results of his COVID-19 test.
Losing four on the trot, for sure has dented the confidence of Rajasthan. Unfortunately, their record against Sunrisers off late looks gloomy, which adds up to their misery. In the last five matches against Sunrisers, Rajasthan have won only one. However, overall in IPL, the contest has been even-steven. Sunrisers have slight upper hand with 54.5 percent win record.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Matches – 11 | SRH – 6 Wins | RR – 5 Wins
Last 5 matches: SRH – 4 Wins | RR – 1 Win
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different team that could fetch crucial points
Apart from Sharjah Cricket Stadium, where bowlers have been smashed for runs at will, the other two venues have been of decent help for them. Among the three venues, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, bowlers have seen success a tad earlier with a wicket of every 19.6 balls.
On an average, 182 runs have been scored in the first innings this season in Dubai. Chasing has been a difficult feature in Dubai this season. While chasing in Dubai, a team has lost a wicket every 15.7 balls and 20.5, which is the fewest among all three venues. This is certainly one of the reasons why, only one team out the 10 matches has managed to chase down a target.
*All venue data updated till Match 22 – SRH vs KXIP
As predicted, till now, it doesn’t feel like the spinners have come into the party that much. Yes, it has slowed down a touch, but the spinners are still searching for consistency. The pacers have dominated in the wicket section with 56.7 percent of the wickets. However, spinners have a better economy and balls/wicket ratio at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
*All venue data updated till Match 22 – SRH vs KXIP
Leg-spinners and the left-arm pacers have been the most successful in terms of making early inroads. The leggies have bagged a wicket every 17.4 balls and the left-arm pacers have bagged a wicket every 17.9 balls. There are four leg-spinners and two left-arm pacers between the two teams.
As for the team combination, five batsmen including the wicketkeeper, two allrounders and four bowlers should be the way to go. Ben Stokes might be available for selection, but an air of uncertainty looms over, which is one of the reasons why his selection is advisable after the toss.
Jonny Bairstow and David Warner are sure shot selection among the batsmen. As for Rajasthan, Buttler showed character in his innings against Mumbai Indians, but missed out against Delhi Capitals. Rajasthan skipper, Steven Smith is still one of their most reliable batsmen. Rahul Tewatia for them has been a complete package this season.
Among the bowlers, Jofra Archer and Rashid Khan are the must haves in team. Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma have done well till now for Sunrisers in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The young quick, Kartik Tyagi has proved his mettle in the two matches he has played so far.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
JOS BUTTLER vs RASHID KHAN
There are few lip smacking contests to watch out for in this match and this certainly is one of them. It has been a nightmare for Jos Buttler when he is facing Rashid Khan in T20s. In the four innings, Rashid has got the better of Buttler in each of those.
DAVID WARNER vs JOFRA ARCHER
If Buttler vs Rashid is one of the mouth-watering contest, David Warner vs Jofra Archer is another feisty tussle to watch out for. In the recent Australia tour of England limited over series, Archer was Warner’s nemesis, dismissing him in all the innings. In T20s, Archer has dismissed Warner twice at an average of 10.0.
SANJU SAMSON vs RASHID KHAN
Two youngsters with immense talent, but the question is who will emerge as the winner? Sanju Samson has been struggling for runs and Rashid has been in sensational form. Overall in T20s, Samson has managed to go unscathed against Rashid in the five innings face-off, but strikes at less than 100 against the SRH legspinner.
JONNY BAIRSTOW: When in flow, Jonny Bairstow is one of the batsmen to watch out for. On back of a 55-ball 97 runs against Kings XI Punjab, Bairstow will be oozing with confidence. In the batsman leaderboard, Bairstow is at fourth spot with 241 runs at an average of 40.2. He has three 50+ scores to his name, only three others have managed to score three or more 50+ scores this season. In IPL 2019, his batting against spin was a concern. However, this season he has kept those problems aside and has scored the joint most runs (105) against spin at a decent strike rate of 161.5. If Bairstow gets going, Rajasthan are certainly in for a toss.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Bairstow could score 15-38 runs in Match 26 against Rajasthan.
JOFRA ARCHER: Prior to IPL 2020, Jofra Archer had played only two matches in U.A.E conditions. Now that Archer has got the hang of the conditions, he has been delivering some fiery spells. In the first two matches, Archer had just one wicket at a balls/wicket ratio of 48.0. In the next four, Archer bagged seven wickets at a balls/wicket ratio of 13.7. A red-hot, fiery Archer, is for sure a danger sign for any top-class batsman. In addition, his batting has been a huge plus point for Rajasthan this season. This is one of the reasons Archer is one among the X-factors for the match against Sunrisers.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Archer could pick 1-2 wickets in Match 26 against Sunrisers.
RASHID KHAN: The mystery of Rashid Khan’s bowling still remains to be undeciphered, which is why the batsmen take the other route, which is playing out his four overs. With eight wickets this season, Rashid is the fifth joint highest wicket taker this season and highest for Sunrisers. On another note, his record against few of the Rajasthan top-order batsmen is stupendous.
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Rashid could pick 1-2 wickets in Match 26 against Rajasthan.
RAHUL TEWATIA: It has been a complete turn around for the allrounder in this season of IPL. He has been among the wickets as well the runs. Tewatia is one among the two allrounders to score more than 100 runs and pick 5 or more wickets this season. Apart from his heroics in Rajasthan’s second match against Kings XI Punjab, Tewatia has batted at number 6 or below and has been amongst runs in that position as well. His 91 runs scored batting at number 6 or lower is the second most in this season, only Kieron Pollard with 116 runs has more. Why wouldn’t Tewatia be an X-factor when he has the ability to fetch points with both bat and ball?
Our Criclytics player projection predicts, Tewatia could score 8-25 runs and pick 0-1 wickets in Match 26 against Sunrisers.