One franchise will claim their first victory of the 2019 IPL as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) host their first home game of the season, with Ajinkya Rahane’s Rajasthan Royals (RR) coming to town on Friday.
Having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to defend 181 against Kolkata (the third-highest score to have been chased down against SRH), Bhuvneshwar Kumar and SRH will need to quickly lick the wounds left by Andre Russell and re-think their death bowling tactics.
Fans were quite rightly asking after the game why Vijay Shankar’s last-over heroics in the second match of the recent ODI series against Australia had been ignored, plus why was the expensive Shakib Al Hasan deployed for the final over instead?
Rajasthan could take inspiration from Kolkata’s chasing. Having amassed the largest ever powerplay score in Jaipur (64/0) on Monday, 171 should have been a breeze for the Royals. Who knows how the chase would have panned out had Ravi Ashwin been wiser than to controversially ‘Mankad’ Jos Buttler on 69 in the 13th over.
That said, that was no excuse for an horrific collapse of 16/6 in which the normally reliable Steve Smith and Ben Stokes both faltered under pressure.
SRH have won two of three at home to Rajasthan, and have (incredibly) even won 16 of 22 (84.21%) at this venue when losing the toss!
Fantasy Cricket- Players to watch out for
What 12-month ban? David Warner (SRH) looked like he had never stepped away from international cricket, top scoring with 85 (53) last game.
Jofra Archer (RR) continues to do his World Cup chances no harm, conceding a very miserly 17 runs from his four overs on Monday.
SRH vs RR T20 – Expected Playing XI
Sunrisers Hyderabad :
Jonny Bairstow (WK), David Warner, Kane Williamson (C), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma
Ajinkya Rahane (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni
Kohli needs 46 runs to reach 5,000 runs in the IPL and 81 runs to become the highest-ever run scorer.
The average powerplay score at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium is 44 (equal lowest of all 2019 venues), while the average first innings score is 157 (lowest of all 2019 venues).
RR own the record for highest successful IPL chase at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium: 215/7 vs Deccan Chargers in the 2008 season. RR’s win rate of 28.95% as the betting outsider away from home is the second-poorest (only marginally) of all current IPL franchises.
MI lead the overall H2H with 14 wins to nine. The average first innings score here in the IPL is 171 (IPL high).