As the lower-half sides continue to put pressure on the top-half teams, the Indian Premier League 2019 edition promises to turn even more interesting. This is definitely the case ahead of this match #45 between Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). This match will be played in Jaipur on Saturday.
Both sides will miss key international players due to departures. RR will hope the absence of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer won’t affect them. They need to win their last three matches to have a chance of making the playoffs. SRH will miss Jonny Bairstow, but hope to make it a third win in four games.
What a turnaround it has been! RR have managed to get their batting click, and pick up some impressive wins. The youngster Riyan Parag has shown that he can be a gamechanger. Steve Smith will hope to get more out of Sanju Samson (261 runs, SR 147.45) who remains inconsistent.
Bowling remains a major worry, with Jaydev Unadkat (ER 11.22) showing no signs of improving his economy. Jofra Archer’s absence could be a spanner, but Oshane Thomas could be the right replacement.
The absence of Bairstow takes out 445 runs at the top for SRH. Although Kane Williamson can recall Mohammad Nabi, SRH will feel his absence. David Warner continues to enjoy making runs for fun, but middle-order consistency is needed.
Bowling wise, SRH haven’t got into their groove, but the performances of Khaleel Ahmed (seven wickets, ER 6.93) show spark. Rashid Khan continues to be the leader, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s resurgence could be the key.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Steve Smith has been a picture of consistency for the Royals this season. Captaincy has brought more responsibility out of him. A ‘must pick’ for your side.
David Warner is enjoying piling up runs and has eight 50+ scores, including a century, in ten matches. Another fifty could be beckoning.
Rashid Khan is the superstar of this IPL and has been very difficult to get away. The pitch would suit him once again for the leg-spinner.
RR: 1 Ajinkya Rahane 2 Sanju Samson (WK) 3 Steve Smith (C) 4 Riyan Parag 5 Liam Livingstone 6 Stuart Binny 7 Shreyas Gopal 8 Jofra Archer 9 Dhawal Kulkarni 10 Oshane Thomas 11 Varun Aaron
SRH: 1 David Warner 2 Martin Guptill 3 Manish Pandey 4 Vijay Shankar 5 Shakib Al Hasan 6 Wriddhiman Saha (WK) 7 Deepak Hooda 8 Rashid Khan 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar (C) 10 Sandeep Sharma 11 Khaleel Ahmed
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