Mon 9 April 2018 8:00 PM

Rajasthan Royals Season Opener: The Royals take on the Sunrisers

Hyderabad

On Monday April 9th 2018, the latest instalment in the Rajasthan Royals IPL journey will begin – and what a voyage this season’s adventure could prove to be. The last time the number 8 was in the year we won the tournament – ten years let’s hope for a repeat performance!

Bearing in mind this season is a new dawn for the Royals, the Sunrisers from Hyderabad are the ideal opponents. With this match having an 8pm start, the sun will have set long before proceedings commence – and let’s hope that three hours or so later, Rajasthan have two points on the board after kicking off their campaign with a win.

Standing in their way are some of T20 cricket’s top exponents, and some familiar faces! The Royals bowling attack will be well aware that on his day Rajasthan old boy Yusuf Pathan can be extremely destructive. SRH skipper New Zealander Kane Williamson is no slouch with the bat either. Add West Indian star Darren Bravo and Sri Lankan Shakid Al Hasan into the mix and you have a formidable batting line up. Behind the stumps another former Royals favourite Shreevats Gotswami doesn’t drop many – and tricky bowlers Jordan, Kumar and Shukla will need negotiating if the Royals batsmen are to be in amongst the runs.

Taking their bow in Royals colours, and no doubt eager to impress, could be overseas superstars Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Heinrich Klaasen and D’Arcy Short – assuming they are all selected by the new exciting Rajasthan leadership team of Rahane, Warne and Head of Cricket Zubin Bharucha who have a wealth of international talent to choose from. So much cricketing knowledge in that trio, if anyone can merge all the talent available into a winning outfit it is them. Royals fans will be looking forward to seeing Unadkat, Laughlin and Archer steaming in and no doubt rattling the opposition’s timber. There may also be some thrilling young talent making their IPL debuts if past Royals experience is anything to go by – the franchise prides itself on spotting potential internationals and giving them their first chance to impress. So much to look forward to after a two year wait… bring it on!

 

Teams’ Form in their Last Five Matches (most recent first)

Sunrisers Hyderabad: L W W L L

Rajasthan Royals: W W L L W

 

Toss Prediction for this fixture

Winning the toss appears to be crucial at Hyderabad. Six of the past eight T20 matches played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium have been won by the side batting first, so the team that wins the toss will probably want to take first knock depending on the conditions on the night. If there is any chance of rain, the winning skipper may choose to field first.

 

SRH v RR Head to Head in Previous IPLs

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals have played seven matches against each other in the IPL with the Royals leading the head to head stats 4-3. SRH won by seven runs when these two teams last met in the 2015 season. Three years on, it’s time for revenge!

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