IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals braced for Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling challenge
At the start of the 2018 Indian Premier League, teams fancied chasing totals. However, Sunrisers Hyderabad has changed that perspective in the last two games, putting up stellar performances with the ball. By successfully defending 118 and 132 against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab respectively, Kane Williamson’s side is high on confidence. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)
However, Rajasthan Royals too are on a high. Following their morale-boosting win over Mumbai Indians that snapped a two-game losing streak, Ajinkya Rahane’s side took a break for a week with members visiting the Ranthambore national park and engaging in team-building exercises. With the team having gained momentum, Rajasthan Royals will be keen to avoid a slip-up.
No clarity on Bhuvneshwar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has not played the previous two games due to a back injury but such has been the depth of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling the team’s spearhead has not been missed. At the nets, Bhuvneshwar had a bowl but did not stretch himself.
In the pre-match press conference, Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody said Bhuvneshwar was given time to recover. “He will be bowling today and we will assess his situation come tomorrow to see how he responds after having a good bowl today. We’ve intentionally given him time to fully recover and it’s been a blessing as it has created an opportunity for others to step up, which they’ve done very well,” the former Australian all-rounder said.
The depth in bowling, however, is not matched in batting. Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan have not been consistent at the top and it has required special efforts from Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Deepak Hooda to bail the team out. Sunrisers Hyderabad will be aiming to get their batting sorted.
Rajasthan Royals seek momentum
Rajasthan Royals have closely watched the Sunrisers Hyderabad attack and the team is ready to tackle their key bowlers. This point was stressed by all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham, whose match-winning 11-ball 33 against Mumbai Indians gave RR a big boost in IPL 2018.
“We have to look at the way the other teams played Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers, but we are ready for the contest,” Gowtham said.
Gowtham, along with fellow Karnataka teammate Shreyas Gopal, a leg-spinner, have been key for Rajasthan Royals but they will be seeking consistency from the pacers, who have underwhelmed barring Jofra Archer, who shone on debut with figures of 3/23.
In the last encounter between the two sides at Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals were thrashed by nine wickets. Time is ripe for Rahane to turn up the heat in Jaipur and inflict a reversal on the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- There has been a clamour to remove Virat Kohli as the captain of the Indian cricket team. Even though he is the most successful captain in India’s Test cricket history, some fans have sought to change his leadership role.
- Sridhar said the Indian team management was informed about their family members not being allowed to travel to Australia with them 48 hours before their journey from Dubai.
- Four bowlers made debuts against a line-up that boasted the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne. That the visitors still emerged as the better side is the strongest possible proof that India’s bowling reserve is exceptionally talented and deep.
- The India fielding coach said Kohli had messaged him around 12:30 at night after India suffered a humiliating loss in Adelaide to discuss the plans for the next Test in Melbourne.
- Jadeja, who did not feature in the first Test against Australia because of an injury, came back into the side for the second Test in Melbourne and immediately left his mark in all three departments of the game.