Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to extend their wonderful form and rise in the points table when they meet the Steve Smith-led Rising Pune Supergiants at the MCA Stadium, Pune. A win tomorrow will take them to the top two of the points tally just behind Mumbai Indians.
Their current status suggests they are in good form. But, there is a drawback that gives an advantage to the opposition.
While they remain unbeaten at home, the upcoming match will be a challenge as they have a very poor away record so far, having lost both their matches in the opposition camp – in Mumbai and Kolkata. This match should be their attempt at breaking the jinx and strengthen their bid of title defense.
SRH and RPSG have met only two times before – which was in the 2016 edition – and maintain a 50-50 record with both teams winning one match each.
However, SRH can feel confident about the fact they beat RPS the last time both teams met. It was low-scoring fixture where the famed bowling attack of the Sunrisers pulled off a close match in favor of their team.
After opting to bat first, SRH were rocked by leg-spinner Adam Zampa and were restricted for just 137/8. Warner met with a rare failure but the rest of the batting order brought innings back on track. However, the introduction of Zampa turned the course of the game as the leg spinner snapped 6/19 to take away the momentum from the opposition.
RPSG, unfortunately, could not chase down the total. The SRH bowling attack led by Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar choked the opposition and cut short the chase narrowly by 4 runs to register a memorable win.
SRH will enter the competition with two back to back wins in their kitty. This will serve as a great boost. Shikhar Dhawan’s latest knock was a great relief for all fans while Kane Williamson’s presence adds to more strength. This assures a great start for the team.
The upcoming match should be an easy two points for the visitors. The opposition may have broken their losing streak recently but they appear as an unorganized unit who cannot put on a collective effort to beat the opposition.
The hype surrounding Mohammad Siraj wasn’t worth it. Not trying to demean him as a cricketing talent but there nothing special about his so-called quick deliveries. Many watched him for the time since he was picked up for the 2.4 crores for his so –called speed.
His quickness was the talking point. However, he operated at the same pace with which Hardik Pandya operates in his peak – around 138-140. However, as far as effectiveness is concerned, it is the wicket taking that is important and he gained points for that by snapping two big wickets.
Has Rashid Khan been decoded? The Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils batsmen have shown how to handle this 18-year-old Afghan talent. After starting off with a bang, the leg spinner has gone for runs in the last games. This obviously doesn’t mean he isn’t a danger anymore. But, if Pune too manages to fend him off like Punjab and Delhi did in the last couple of matches, then SRH and Rashid will have to analyse a bit more about their game plan.
The middle order also has to gain some rhythm. Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha do not have anything impressive scores to show. Their failure has partially been the reason behind SRH’s over dependence on the David Warner.
Here is the likely XI:
David Warner (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha (WK), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Siraj/Ashish Nehra, Siddharth Kaul.