“If you’re stepping up, you want to own it, you want to show character. Stick to your discipline. Stick to that as a group. That’s when we get better and we have real clarity of thought about what to do next.” These words from our head coach Kumar Sangakkara will serve as inspiration when Rajasthan Royals take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday. 

A loss to Gujarat Titans in the previous tie means the Royals are fourth on the IPL 2023 points table after 10 games. And with just three more to follow after the match against SRH, the Sanju Samson-led side will have to be on top of their game to come through in what looks like a photo finish to the top four.

The Royals can surely take heart from their win when the two teams met earlier this season. In what was the opening game of the campaign, the Royals cruised to a dominant 72-run win over SRH to announce themselves in a fine manner. It was a game that saw us perform well in every department with players rising to the occasion when called upon. And on Sunday, the Royals faithful will be expecting the same from their favourites. 

Match details

IPL 2023: Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad - May 7, 2023

Sawai Mansingh Stadium

7:30 PM IST

The track at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium this season has surprised many. While the first two matches saw the teams earn good rewards for their efforts, in the previous tie, the 22-yard strip threw in a few googlies. The longish boundaries here mean sixes come far a few – just 28 in three games so far – and the teams have to bank on their running between the wickets to put a challenging score on the board. The track helps both the pacers and the spinners in equal measure, while the batters get rewarded if they spend enough time in the middle. 

Battle to watch out

Sanju Samson vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Against the Gujarat Titans, he was the lone warrior on what was a rather off day for the Royals. And skipper Sanju Samson will be keen to continue that against Hyderabad. After a flying start to the season, which included a well-crafted half-century against SRH in the opener – Samson has seen a blip in his form. But his last knock looks like our captain is getting back to his best. 

Sanju Samson against bowlers in IPL




Strike Rate

Bhuvneshwar Kumar




Siddarth Kaul




Rashid Khan




Umesh Yadav




Krunal Pandya




On Sunday, standing in his way will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a bowler who has led the Hyderabad challenge for a few seasons. This year too, the experienced bowler has been on the money and is the second-highest wicket-taker for his side. But for skipper Sanju, Bhuvi is a bowler that he has often targeted and reaped good rewards. He has scored 116 runs against the Hyderabad pacer, which is the most he has against a bowler in the IPL. 

Key player

Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal has often led the Royals with his artistry. And IPL 2023 has been no different. With 13 wickets so far, Yuzi has delivered for the team. But the past few matches have seen Yuzi find it hard to remain consistent. It’s no surprise that this dip in form has also been reflected in Royals managing to win matches. 

Though our squad depth has kept us in good stead so far, the team will be eager to see their primary spin threat regain form and lead the challenge from the front. And Sunday’s clash against SRH could be a perfect platform for the Royals spin wizard, especially given how he ran through their batting line-up when the two teams faced off in Hyderabad earlier this year.

Team news

Sanga has always spoken about the importance of staying even and staying together. And the Royals need it now more than ever. Four losses in the last five matches don’t bode well for a team that oozes class and that is filled with top-quality talent. But sometimes, that’s how a game of cricket turns out. Will the management ring in a few changes or trust the bunch that has often delivered, it’s a question for later. For now, it’s all about trusting the process.

Upcoming milestones

  • Yashasvi Jaiswal is 11 runs away from 1000 runs in the IPL and 58 away from scoring 500 runs this season.
  • Devdutt Padikkal is 34 runs away from 1500 runs in the IPL.
  • Sanju Samson is five sixes away from 150 sixes for RR in the IPL.