April 29th, 2018 4pm
Rajasthan Royals v Hyderabad Sunrisers
Right guys, back to work after your well deserved week off following your sensational victory over the Mumbai Indians. Sunday afternoon presents a welcome opportunity to exact revenge on Hyderabad Sunrisers after they beat us in the first match of the tournament. Hyderabad are on fire and will be looking for their sixth win of the campaign – it’s down to our boys to stop them!
Sanju Samson has been our main batsman so far, with two half centuries - including a match-winning 92 not out against RCB. He has totalled 239 runs in his first six games and donned the orange cap on several occasions. The innings against Bangalore included an incredible ten sixes. Ben Stokes also looked close to his best form in the last match against Mumbai, as he hit 40 from 27 balls to follow up his innings of 45 against Chennai Super Kings in the previous game. He seems to be edging his way to top form. When he erupts, watch out in the stands!
Jofra Archer picked up 3 wickets for 22 runs with the ball last time out, what a stunning debut - and will hope for similar success against Sunrisers Hyderabad. So will Krishnappa Gowtham, now a household name after his superb match winning performance against MI.
That three wicket win secured with two balls to spare helped us bounce back from consecutive heavy defeats. Kolkata chased down 160 to beat us by seven wickets in our previous game in Jaipur, while Chennai Super Kings posted a massive 204 for 5 from their 20 overs to defeat us by 64 runs in the following match. We will be looking to avoid disasters like that recurring on Sunday. Playing at home in our Fortress should help, as should the buzz of discovering two new T20 IPL superstars in our last fixture…
For Hyderabad, Rashid Khan's economical bowling has earned him two Man of the Match awards already this season, taking 1 for 13 from his four overs in their home win against Mumbai Indians and then 2 for 11 from four overs in the return fixture. Mumbai must be sick of the sight of him! Hopefully our batsmen can cope with his variations. We will also need to stop Shikhar Dhawan replicating the form he showed in hammering an unbeaten 77 from 57 balls against us in our first meeting this season.
Sunrisers Skipper Kane Williamson has been their leading batsman, scoring three back-to-back half centuries to race past 250 in this year's IPL. With the ball, alongside Khan's success, Siddarth Kaul has nine wickets to his name and Shakib AL Hasan has taken eight.
The Sunrisers are a formidable outfit – but if our boys play to their potential we can beat them – and continue our march up the table!
The Royals have rotated their overseas players in their last couple of matches with Steve Smith's direct replacement Heinrich Klaasen playing the last two games instead of D’Arcy Short. Big Bash sensation Jofra Archer also played his first IPL game of the season last time out, replacing Ben Laughlin, and will be very hard to drop after his heroics against Mumbai.
The changes in the last match allowed Rahul Tripathi to finally take up an opening batsman role, but in truth without Smith, we have lacked firepower up the order. Nevertheless, with Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson firing in their most recent match, Rajasthan may opt for an unchanged team to face Sunrisers Hyderabad. One of those two may even move up to open, although Tripathi probably deserves one more crack first up. The pitch took spin last time, which might also influence the thinking of the Rajasthan selectors.
Sunrisers’ in form spin-bowling duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Rashid Khan will most likely continue their records of playing in every Sunrisers' match this season as they head to spin-friendly Jaipur. With Kane Williamson batting, that leaves space for only one more overseas international between Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Mohammad Nabi and Billy Stanlake - the Afghanistani all-rounder having been preferred in the last two matches. Shikhar Dhawan returned for the last two games having missed the defeat to Chennai Super Kings, but Hyderabad are yet to turn to big-hitting Hales despite two low-scoring games in a row. This match might be his opportunity to shine.
Teams’ Form in their Last Five Matches (most recent first)
RR : W L L W W
SRH : W W L L W
Toss Prediction for this fixture
Skipper Rahane is yet to win the toss in Jaipur this year, but the tendency has been for the team winning the toss to field first - and after our last run chase confidence should be high that we can surpass most totals, so Jinks may well insert the opposition if the coin falls in his favour.
RR v SRH Head to Head in Previous IPLs
Sunrisers Hyderabad's victory in our first meeting with them this season was their fourth win in total against us. Because the Sunrisers were late additions to the IPL, only joining in 2013, and we are only just back from our two-year ban, there have only been eight matches between Rajasthan and Hyderabad – and both teams have won four. Hyderabad have only once played in Jaipur and that was in our first ever meeting in 2013, where we won by eight wickets. Time for us to keep our home territory impregnable and make it 5 wins to 4!