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HomeCricketIPL 28th Match Preview: Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad

IPL 28th Match Preview: Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

RR vs SRH IPL 2018 Cricket Blog

Chance for one team to move into the top four. Chance for the other to go outright top of the table. Plenty is at stake when Rajasthan Royals host Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first of two games today.

Rajasthan Royals have had a pretty mixed tournament so far, dishing up some rubbish cricket with some good stuff, and have the chance now to overtake KKR to take fourth place at the halfway mark of the group stage. Over their first six games, the possibility of Jofra Archer playing left you hanging like a typical CSK or MI game, and his addition to the RR side was welcomed against MI. K Gowtham has had an up-and-down tournament, replicating his team, but he delivered in the clutch moments to give RR a chance to sit in the top four ahead of four games in the next ten days. Can RR put together a more complete batting performance against a strong SRH bowling unit?

I have nothing but admiration for Sunrisers Hyderabad at the moment. They sit equal top of the table with CSK and KXIP, both of which have based their success so far on their batting. SRH have comfortably won their last two games scoring a total of just 250 runs across 38.4 overs. The return to form of Rashid Khan has driven this, but as a bowling unit, they continue to impress. They’d like their batting to step up though – will today be the day they get it right?

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Key to a Rajasthan Royals win

Over the last few days, MI and KXIP failed miserably when the game was there to be won against SRH. They weren’t able to handle the threat of SRH’s well-rounded attack, even without Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Billy Stanlake.
RR in this game can’t afford to rely on one or two players to bail them out. They are yet to show game-to-game consistency with the bat, but will be encouraged by the continued form of Sanju Samson, as well as runs from Ben Stokes (40 from 27) against MI. However, against MI, just three players crossed 20, which included K Gowtham’s incredible, match-winning 33 off 11 balls. Onus will be on Ajinkya Rahane, who boasts a good record at the Sawai Masingh Stadium, to get RR off to a good start.
If RR are to have thoughts of winning this game, their batting needs to click. If they do, they can certainly beat an SRH side whose batting continues to underwhelm. The scenario is simple – SRH rely on their bowling, so can RR nullify this?

Key to a Sunrisers Hyderabad win

The bowling has been the central point of all victories for SRH in IPL 2018. They looked gone against both MI and KXIP, but displayed their never-say-die attitude once again. In IPL 2018, they have the best economy rates out of all teams in all stages of an innings. In the powerplay overs, they concede 6.97 an over (avg. 8.59), in the middle it’s 7.17 (avg. 8.10) and in the death overs it’s an incredible 7.41 (avg. 9.98).
They have proven they can defend very low scores, so can they exploit RR’s uncertain batting line up? In their last game against RR, they cantered to a nine-wicket victory, off the back of their bowlers who restricted RR to 125/9. 
If SRH bowl first, they need to look to restrict RR below 150. If they bat first, anything over 140 can be a winnable score. As has been the case in their two losses, if their bowling doesn’t click, they don’t win. They’ll need to click once again here.

Predicted teams

Other than Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes and K Gowtham, the remaining six RR batsmen contributed just 39 runs against MI. Against a strong SRH attack, the likes of Rahane, Buttler and Klaasen need to fire as well. Also, onus will be on the bowlers. who are bolstered by the talented Jofra Archer, to restrict SRH’s batsmen.
Rajasthan Royals XI: 1. Ajinkya Rahane (c), 2. Rahul Tripathi, 3. Sanju Samson, 4. Ben Stokes, 5. Jos Buttler (wk), 6. Heinrich Klaasen, 7. Dhawal Kulkarni, 8. K Gowtham, 9. Shreyas Gopal, 10. Jaydev Unadkat, 11. Jofra Archer
Basil Thampi and Sandeep Sharma have been superb for the SRH cause, but one may have to miss out for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is reported to be fit enough to play. Also, should Alex Hales play? Should he replace Nabi or Shakib? It will be interesting to see if SRH decide to go with an option which gives them more power at the top.
Sunrisers Hyderabad XI: 1. Shikhar Dhawan, 2. Kane Williamson (c), 3. Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Shakib Al Hasan, 7. Mohammad Nabi, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Siddarth Kaul, 11. Basil Thampi or Sandeep Sharma

Stats and Facts

  • Head-to-Head: Both teams are locked at four wins each after eight games.
  • Rashid Khan has taken 5/30 in his last eight overs, after conceded 104 in his previous eight.
  • Both these two teams have the lowest boundary percentages in IPL 2018 (RR 50.26% and SRH 51.61%).
  • Ajinkya Rahane averages 40.3 at Sawai Masingh Stadium. He has a vital role to play today, and so does Rahul Tripathi at the top of the RR order.

Prediction:

Big game for both teams, for different reasons. I think both teams’ batting leaves plenty to be desired, but SRH’s bowling wins hands down. I expect SRH to win thanks to their bowlers, and go top of the table.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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