This game will be a battle of two of the most wounded teams of IPL 2018. Both teams lost their captains in Steve Smith and David Warner due to the ball tampering scandal. Ajinkya Rahane will be the new captain for Rajasthan Royals, while Kane Williamson will lead Sunrisers Hyderabad for this season of the Indian Premier League.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have always been a bowling-heavy team and this year will be no different. Their batting strength lies in the top 4 and if they fail, they find it tough to get past 150+ scores, but guess what? They’re well equipped to defend such totals with bowlers like Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in their line up. Bhuvi has won the Purple Cap (most wickets) two years in a row at the IPL!
The Sunrisers have Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan in their line up, and the signing of Manish Pandey will boost their batting considerably. They also have swing bowler Sandeep Sharma, who is a big wicket taker in the powerplay overs, while Wriddhiman Saha may come good this IPL recently having scored a 20-ball century in a local tournament!
The Royals have big overseas names in their squad, but lack slightly in terms of local talent. Rahul Tripathi will open the batting with Rahane and he was brilliant last year, but what separates the good from the best is consistency. Will he be able to perform again? Binny, Ankit Sharma, K Gowtham and Dhawal Kulkarni are others likely to start for RR.
This game will largely depend upon how the RR batsmen play the SRH bowlers. Rashid Khan has dismissed Stokes twice in T20s, and will certainly look to do it a third time. Bhuvi and Siddarth Kaul have proven to be brilliant death over bowlers so Rajasthan will also want a good start from Rahane and Tripathy, as I don’t see a lot of runs being scored in the last 5 overs. I’ll be backing Sunrisers Hyderabad to begin with a win.
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