Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals
Kane Williamson made a statement on the eve of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s opening game of the Indian Premier League. The skipper of the Hyderabad-based franchise was the only batsman in the nets an hour prior to the arrival of the rest of the team for their final practice session ahead of the season opener against the Rajasthan Royals.
Being given throw-downs by assistant coach Simon Helmot for over an hour, the skipper continued to bat through until his team arrived and well beyond, working on his drives and follow-through from time to time. Knowing Williamson, it wasn’t a conscious ploy to make a statement, but an effort to prepare and get himself match-ready for Sunrisers’ big day on Monday (April 9).
Hyderabad had been hit by a hailstorm and heavy showers that had brought the city to a standstill for two hours on Saturday – two days prior to their first Indian Premier League match of the 2018 edition. With showers forecast, much in contrast to the typical heat in the month of April, the threat of wet weather looms large in the city causing concerns among some of the Hyderabad Cricket Association officials. It was, after all, only in October last year that rain and a wet outfield had washed out the Twenty20 International between India and Australia.
With weather being among the many uncontrollables, SRH have been meticulous about their preparation coming into the tournament. They were dealt with a mighty blow coming in with David Warner’s exclusion from this season owing to the ball-tampering scandal, but they have taken it in their stride, and well. With a couple of practice games at the venue, they have had impressive performances from their local youngsters, which has pleased mentor VVS Laxman. It has also given the squad a chance to acclimatise to the leadership of Williamson, who will take over as full-time captain.
Rajasthan, too, on their comeback from a two-year hiatus, were dealt a similar deal, with Steve Smith being banned from the tournament along with Warner. He was the only player that the franchise opted to retain from their previous squad, but his exit meant Ajinkya Rahane was named skipper, and South African Heinrich Klaasen, his replacement.
Royals, too, are coming in with some good preparation back in Jaipur, before a full training session at the Uppal stadium on Saturday (April 7), before the skies opened up. Their squad boasts of familiar faces from the Rising Pune Supergiant side and the previous RR squad, which would assist Rahane and make his job easier without the challenge of having to take over a fresh set of players two weeks prior to the start of the tournament, much like Williamson.
While familiarity is a luxury for both skippers in this case, the challenge of deliverance will be just the same. Royals have a lots to prove given their absence over the last couple of years, while Sunrisers will be keen to show that losing their leader in Warner will not hamper their ability as a side.
When: Monday April 09, 2018, 08:00 PM
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
The wicket offered good carry and bounce for the pacers. However, since then, it has slowed down and has turned out to be a good wicket for batting. Even scores of over 180 have been chased down in the history IPL at the ground.
Venue Stats T20
|Matches won batting first||3|
|Matches won bowling first||2|
|Average 1st Inns scores||187|
|Average 2nd Inns scores||174|
|Highest total recorded||211/4 (19.1 Ov) by Ind vs SL|
|Lowest total recorded||172/10 (20 Ov) by Afg vs RSA|
|Highest score chased||211/4 (19.1 Ov) by Ind vs SL|
|Lowest score defended||180/5 (20 Ov) by NZ vs Pak|
Head to Head
|Total Match Play||7|
|Match won Rajasthan Royals||4|
|Match Won by Sunrisers Hyderabad||3|
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
|Total Match Play||1|
|Match won Rajasthan Royals||0|
|Match Won by Sunrisers Hyderabad||1|
They were dealt with a blow when Steve Smith was ruled out, and Ajinkya Rahane was named as a replacement captain.
While Tripathi is likely to open with Rahane and bat the way he batted last season, but it’s not often that an uncapped Indian player produces two consecutive seasons of the same quality with the bat.
They do have D’arcy Short as an explosive opening option, the lack of an Indian batting option might keep him out at the start of the tournament.
In Buttler and Stokes, Royals have two of the most explosive finishers in the tournament.
skipper David Warner had his IPL contract torn in the aftermath of the ball tampering scandal.
Warner was replaced by Kane Williamson as the skipper of the team.
opener Alex Hales was roped in as Warner’s replacement to partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top.
Shakib Al Hasan and Rashid Khan will be spin bowling duo while joining the talisman fast-bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be Sandeep Sharma and Siddarth Kaul who had a breakthrough season last year.
Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane(c), D Arcy Short, Sanju Samson(w), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Stuart Binny, Mahipal Lomror, Heinrich Klaasen, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Zahir Khan, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera.
Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson(c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Basil Thampi, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, Ricky Bhui, T Natarajan, Billy Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan.
Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Heinrich Klaasen/D’Arcy Short, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.
Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Yusuf Pathan/ Deepak Hooda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul/Basil Thampi.
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