Ahmedabad: Up against an outfit that is struggling to stay afloat, fancied Rajasthan Royals will look to consolidate their position in the pecking order when they lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Rajasthan Royals staged a dramatic fightback to bow down Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs in their last match, while Sunrisers Hyderabad were overshadowed by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Led by inspiring Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, Rajasthan are placed third in the points table with five wins and two reverses, while SRH are struggling to keep their chances alive in the competition. Watson has always been the key man in the RR set-up.
Young Karun Nair has shown promise at the top of the order and RR can expect a lot from him. 42-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe continues to catch attention with his impressive performance, the last coming against KKR.
As far as Sunrisers Hyderabad are concerned, skipper Shikhar Dhawan will need to lead from the front. A good start is of paramount importance in this form of the game, and Dhawan knows it too well.
He has the aggressive Aaron Finch for company and if the duo gets going, it will be ominous for the opposition. The in-form David Warner lends muscle to the middle-order, with all-rounder Darren Sammy following him in the batting order. Pace spearhead Dale Steyn will lead the attack with the Indian duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma providing him able support . Sammy and Irfan Pathan are the other two medium pacers, while Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma will shoulder the responsibility in the spin department.
Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar's economy rate being 5.78 in IPL-7 has conceded only 136 runs in 23.3 overs.