Having lost their opening game against Kolkata after dominating most of the match, Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to come back strongly against Rajasthan Royals at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal on Friday.
Both teams lost their opening games and what made matters worse was that just like SRH, the Royals too, were cruising till the 16th over of the chase before they lost the plot against Kings XI Punjab.
Even though KXIP skipper R. Ashwin’s decision to ‘Mankad’ RR batsman Jos Buttler shifted the focus from the game, what needs to be remembered is how the Royals’ batsmen failed to score 39 runs in the last four overs — a walk in the park in the T20 format — when you have wickets in the bag.
Similarly, it was a game in the bag for SRH at the Eden Gardens after a brilliant display of batsmanship from former skipper David Warner on his return to the IPL. But the Sunrisers failed to defend 181 with Andre Russell (49* off 19) and Shubman Gill (18* off 10) taking the Knights home with two balls to spare.
Though what happened in the past must be kept aside and both teams need to look to start afresh. Having lost their first games, both teams will want to come back strongly and get their campaign back on track.
While the bowling is an area that SRH will look to correct, the Royals will want to ensure that they get their batting right.
Over-dependence on Buttler or skipper Ajinkya Rahane will not help as in a format like T20, it is important that everyone looks to contribute their bit with bat or ball.
All eyes will also be on SRH’s regular skipper Kane Williamson and his recovery from injury. While he missed the first game and Bhuvneshwar Kumar led the team, the Kiwi is expected to be fit for their first home game.
The wicket at the Uppal stadium should be a belter as has been seen over the years and it should be a quality display of slam-bang action come Friday.
Squads: Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Ricky Bhui, Shreevats Goswami, Wriddhiman Saha, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Billy Stanlake, K. Khaleel Ahmed, T. Natarajan.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Steven Smith, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Ish Sodhi, Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Shubham Ranjane, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Oshane Thomas, Sudhesan Midhun, Aryaman Birla, Manan Vohra, Prashant Chopra.