Sunrisers Hyderabad are not among the stronger sides in the IPL, but they do have a few star players, who can lock horns with the best on their day. The problem with having a team with only a few big names is that you constantly need those few players to fire else the side will more often than not end up on the losing side. Sunrisers have experienced the same in the games that they have played in this year’s edition, and hence will be desperate for their international stars to rise to the occasion against Rajasthan.
Sunrisers will not go into the match in high spirits, but they very well could have. They looked in a seemingly dominant position to overcome Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last game, but AB de Villiers played a scintillating knock to take the game away. The South African’s assault on fellow countryman Dale Steyn was exceptional, and the fast bowler would be smarting following the unabashed treatment meted out to them. The manner in which Steyn was torn apart would worry Sunrisers for sure, but they can take solace from the fact that de Villiers is a special player, and not everyone can dish out such treatment to the speedster.
There are other major worries as well for Sunrisers. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan has not done much of note with the bat so far, and his captaincy hasn’t been impressive as well. In a manner, he has been a liability to the side since his contribution hasn’t been evident yet. The others in the batting department have also disappointed. If one takes away David Warner’s impressive stroke play, there is nothing much of note to speak about even though Aaron Finch and KL Rahul have shown some spark over the course of the series.
Sunrisers’ bowling has been more efficient. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has barely had a bad game. His bowling has been spot on and he has even grabbed some crucial wickets. James Faulkner has played his part with the ball, even leading Rajasthan to a come-from-behind victory in one of the games. But, although Karn Sharma impressed in the last game, they would still be sweating over the form of Amit Mishra. He is too big a player to be sitting out for long, but playing him on present form would also be a risk.
In contrast, Rajasthan’s confidence would be on an all-time high following the miraculous win against Kolkata. Shane Watson and Pravin Tambe, in particular, would be feeling on top of the world, after they starred in the great comeback in the last game. Watson’s form with the bat has also been improving with every passing match. Rajasthan would also be pleased with the efforts of Ajinkya Rahane at the top, who has fired consistently. Sanju Samson has chipped in with key contributions too. Without doubt, Rajasthan would be firm favourites against Sunrisers, but in T20 you never really know what’s coming.
--By A Cricket Analyst