29 Mar 2019

SRH Vs RR: Match 8 Preview

By cricinsane

Every last authority of the Test loyalties are united by the opinions that T20 cricket is subdued in it’s speed and gives an adrenaline rush and not a slow poison, entertainment sans the drama. And thus, when Jaydev Unadkat claims, “We did not mention it (Mankading incident) even once after that day, we all have moved on from that incident,” it’s not too hard to believe that cricket is indeed living in the age of hookups, where moving on is the fancy. Having a full to the throat dose of the game that happened last night, IPL won’t give you much time to sink it in, as another classic awaits from the City of the Nizams. IPL today presents another opportunity to cash in on, another reason to forget all that went wrong only a few days ago. And neither Rajasthan Royals nor Sunrisers Hyderabad would mind living life that way owing to how their opening games had seen a similar pattern. Having been in dominating positions for most parts of the match, they slipped towards the end, losing their respective encounters. With the talks around the spirits of cricket doing the rounds for the majority of the their last game, Rajasthan Royals look to get off the blocks with a win in this one but beating Sunrisers is no easy task, ask Andre Russell. A year after picking up bans for the infamous ball-tampering episode, Steve Smith and David Warner come face to face. Too much time has passed for the Newlands scandal to remain relevant in the IPL context, of course, but Jos Buttler’s mankading incident has-albeit unwittingly-kept the spirit of controversy alive. If Rajasthan Royals – Smith and Buttler’s team – had hoped for the seeming injustice of it to have inspired them, the signs weren’t encouraging. Instead of a steely resolve to get home, on view were panic and self destruction. Those are precise feelings that Sunrisers Hyderabad have traditionally sparked in their opponents. Although Sunrisers’ well laid-out plans came cropper against the beast Andre Russell, it was only the third time they lost after posting a total in excess of 180 – that says something about the abnormality of their display in Kolkata on Sunday. Now, they are back home, where they have won 15 of their last 21 matches since 2016 – the best win percentage for any team at home during the period. Plus, they should have regular captain Kane Williamson – who missed their first game with injury – back, although the final decision on him will only be taken on match day. Williamson hit the nets in Hyderabad on the eve of the match and even the day before that. If he’s back, whom do they leave out? Warner batted like he was never away for a 53-ball 85, and his partner, Jonny Bairstow aided him nicely on debut, contributing a 35-ball 39 in a 118-run opening stand. They might feel slightly bittersweet about separating them so soon, but it seems like the only viable move. The game is set to be played in Hyderabad and SRH thus start favourites with all eyes set on their main guns in Rashid and Bhuvneshwar to deliver.

Probable XI

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Kane Williamson/Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, K Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer/Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni