Rajasthan Royals (RR) will look to seal their second successive win while Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be eager to return to winning ways as the two teams square off in Match 40 of the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in Dubai on Thursday.
While Rajasthan Royals delivered a confident victory over CSK in its previous match, SRH ended up losing to KKR in a Super Over contest. The last time these two sides faced each other this season, RR came out on top on the back of a sensational 85-run partnership between Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag.
RR has changed tact and given its batting order, a bit of a rejig ever since Ben Stokes became available for selection. They have moved Robin Uthappa to the top and Jos Buttler to the middle order. The idea being that Jos Buttler and Steve Smith can guide the team to more victories from the middle.
Fans'll be expecting a similar approach from RR in this match against SRH as well. Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, and Sanju Samson will be given the license to play freely while Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, Rahul Tewatia, and Riyan Parag will bring up the rear. This is a strong batting lineup on paper, especially now that Jos Buttler has some runs behind him.
The bowling attack for RR was very effective in the previous match. Ben Stokes bowled three overs for not too many, Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal were brilliant in the middle, and Karthik Tyagi continued to make an impression.
This is a very crucial match for SRH, not the least because of the injury concerns it has to address. Kane Williamson hobbled around the crease in the previous match before he got out and is going to miss this match in all likelihood. That is going to be a huge dent to SRH as they just do not have another batsman of Williamson's class as a replacement.
Mohammad Nabi is going to be the one that comes in for Williamson. He offers a decent all-round option that can bat powerfully and bowl effectively.
It will be interesting to see if Warner returns to the opening position or continues to bat in the middle from where he almost pulled off a brilliant win in the previous match. He and Bairstow are the best batsmen in the team by a huge margin. Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, or Priyam Garg do not even come close to these two.
Every team that goes up against SRH knows that they are always just one or two wickets away from exposing a weak middle-order.
SRH also has a poor bowling attack. Rashid Khan is world-class but he can be taken for runs, as KKR showed in the previous match, and there is no one else to back him up. Vijay Shankar bowled his four overs for just about 4 runs an over but that is not likely to happen too many times.
Natarajan, Rashid, Nabi, Shankar, and perhaps Sandeep are just not good enough against most lineups.
There is no time for either team to rest, though, and they must continue to keep winning.
The temperature in Dubai will be hot and dry with a maximum of 33 degrees and a minimum of 22 degrees. The humidity will be at 46 per cent.
The wicket in Dubai has been slightly two-paced with conditions assisting to slow/spin bowlers a lot in the tournament so far. However, with the wickets now easing, teams are opting to chase after winning the toss. The two most recent matches played here have been won by the team batting second. A total of 170-180 is considered a par score on this wicket.
The team that wins the toss is going to want to bat first. That has been the trend in the matches so far and is going to continue. A score of around 170 seems to be par at the venue with anything more difficult to chase.
Stats and Facts
Head to head: Matches Played: 12
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 6
Rajasthan Royals: 6
Sanju Samson needs 55 runs to complete 2500 IPL runs.
Robin Uthappa requires 1 four to complete 450 IPL runs.
Sandeep Sharma is a wicket away from completing 100 IPL wickets.
Kane Williamson requires 1 six and 17 runs respectively to complete 50 IPL sixes and 1500 IPL runs.
Ankit Rajpoot is one wicket short of 100 in T20s.
Steven Smith is one six short of 100 in T20s.
Rajasthan Royals: Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith (capt), Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot/Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (capt), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson/Mohammad Nabi/Fabian Allen/Jason Holder, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Basil Thampi/Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan
Players to Watch Out For:
Rajasthan Royals: Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Rashid Khan
Rajasthan Royals: 1.90
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1.90
SantaBanta's Winner Prediction: Rajasthan Royals
IPL 2020 Winner Live Odds
Mumbai Indians - 3
Royal Challengers Bangalore - 3.6
Delhi Capitals - 4
Kings XI Punjab - 12
Kolkata Knight Riders - 13
Rajasthan Royals - 19
Sunrisers Hyderabad - 34
Chennai Super Kings - 51
Match Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Time: 7.30 PM IST
TV: Star Sports Network
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP