Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the Rajasthan Royals in match 5 of IPL 2022 at the Maharashtra CA Stadium in Pune today.
After finishing bottom and second from bottom respectively in last season’s round-robin table, this latest edition of the IPL couldn’t come around fast enough for the 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad and inaugural IPL winners Rajasthan Royals. Both teams will look to put that all behind them this season.
SRH are having a team ‘reset’ after losing the services of two of their star players over the past few seasons. David Warner has joined Delhi Capitals and more surprisingly, mystery wrist spinner Rashid Khan (best ever IPL economy rate – 6.33 rpo) has been released to join newbies Gujarat Titans. It will take all the experience of new batting coach Brian Lara and spin bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan to compensate for their absence.
At the ‘mega auction,’ the Sunrisers signed overseas batters Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram. The team’s first objective will be to improve on last season’s dismal run rate (ave- 7.50 rpo), while their newly signed bowling coach Dale Steyn will look to address last season’s lack of wickets from the attack where they averaged just 5.43 per game, with only the Royals taking less.
Royals have plenty of positives going into the competition apart perhaps from their death-bowling options. Trent Boult can do a job with the older ball but he is most potent while swinging the new one into the right-hander. Prasidh Krishna will likely partner Boult in the powerplay, and if they can successfully build early pressure, R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal could capitalise on it to strangle the opposition in the middle overs. How they choose to approach the death overs could be the deciding factor in whether James Neesham plays as the allrounder or Nathan Coulter-Nile.
As far as the top order is concerned, the Royals have as good a unit as a team can hope for after an auction. They retained Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson, and now have Devdutt Padikkal set to bat at No. 3. Rassie van der Dussen, who has enjoyed a purple patch for South Africa in the last nine months or so, and Shimron Hetmyer, who is especially brutal against spin, are probably vying for one spot in the middle, though the decision for the first game has been taken out of Royals’ hands with the former unavailable for today’s game
The Royals clearly have the better side on paper but they will need to vastly improve with the ball in hand, as they owned last season’s worst records for most runs conceded (2318), fewest wickets taken (ave 4.90) and conceding the most runs per over (8.95 rpo). I am backing them to win this game against a new look SRH side.
SRH have won 17 of their last 23 home fixtures (73.91%) when batting second.
The average first innings score at this venue is 159.
Sunrisers have had the highest powerplay score in the last three H2Hs.
The Royals have lost four of the five H2Hs when batting first.
Sanju Samson was the top batsman of either side in four of their 14 IPL2021 matches.
Players To Watch
2018 Orange cap winner Kane Williamson averages 40.11 across 62 innings and will be key to the Sunrisers’ innings. Meanwhile, Shimron Hetmyer brings his explosive power-hitting (SR- 151.17) from the Delhi Capitals. He has scored 62.28% of his 517 runs in boundaries.
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