In the first match of the mid-week double header in the Indian Premier League on Thursday, Rajasthan Royals (RR) clash with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. It is a crucial match for the fortunes of both the teams. The loser of this match will face a considerable dent in their playoffs aspirations.
Preview – RR
It might appear that Rajasthan Royals is sitting pretty at the second position on the IPL points table. However, they are not comfortable by any means.
The team has managed 14 points from 11 matches so far. They have to get at least two more wins from their remaining three matches to earn their spot in the playoffs. Apart from Sunrisers, they have to play against Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders too. They don’t have any easy matches left. If they lose this match, their playoffs hopes will be in jeopardy.
The team has lost its winning momentum it gathered on the early stage of the tournament. Batting is a bit reliant on Ajinkya Rahane. Royals struggle to post a big total if Rahane fails to get going. It is high time the other batters in the team asserted themselves on the proceedings.
Preview – SRH
Sunrisers too are in a similar situation, if not graver. They have managed just eight points from nine games. Only a five-match winning streak will confirm their position in the next round. At any rate, they cannot afford to lose more than one match.
David Warner is the Ajinkya Rahane and Chris Gayle combined for the Hyderabad side. He has the consistency of Rahane and firepower of Gayle. If he fires on all cylinders, Rajasthan Royals may not have any answers.
Rajasthan Royals has the advantage; but Sunrisers has the wherewithal to upset the best laid plans.