Jaipur: Beaten in their past two away outings, Rajasthan Royals would be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in their own den in a Pepsi IPL league match at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium on Saturday.
The fact that Rajasthan Royals have won all of their three matches here will give them the confidence to put behind the defeats in away matches against the strong Chennai Super kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The hosts can take heart from the fact that they went down fighting against the two strongest teams in tournament who are currently holding the top two positions on the points table.
Among the positives from these defeats for Rajasthan is Shane Watson, who was impressive with the ball and also hit a power-packed ton against CSK.
The batting, which had looked brittle against Bangalore, could post a huge 185 for 4 against a strong CSK mainly due to the efforts of the Australian opener who stepped down as the vice-captain of his national team.
Watson will be once again be a vital cog in the scheme of things against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Skipper Rahul Dravid feels that it would be important to see how his men put behind the defeat in previous two matches and come out strongly on home turf.
The batting for the hosts looks good with Shane Watson firing and the likes of Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane providing them the much-needed solidity. Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny and Dishant Yagnik have also come good when required of them.
The bowling too has more options now with Watson having recovered from injury and looking eager to establish himself again as a genuine all-rounder.
James Faulkner and Sidharth Trivedi have been consistent but the mercurial S Sreesanth has not lived up to the expectations. The hosts have also used spinners Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan as surprise weapon.
On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who lost to CSK in their previous match, have been more dependent on their bowling but with Shikhar Dhawan back in the team and hitting a fluent 63, their batting too has strengthened.
Though skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Parthiv Patel have not been among runs even though Ashish Reddy, Thisara Perera, Cameron White and Darren Sammy are all capable of raising a good total.
The strength of the visitors has been their bowling led by the South African speedster Dale Steyn.
Along with him, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Perera, who have shared 42 wickets among them so far, have been able to restrict the opposition more often then not.
The emergence of Amit Mishra, who has 14 wickets in his bag, as a useful all-rounder has added to their strength.
The match between the these two teams will be a crucial one as around half-way mark, Rajasthan are fourth with eight points from seven matches, while the Sunrisers are currently third with 10 points in their kitty from eight matches.
The Teams (from):
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, S Sreesanth, Shaun Tait, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Dishant Yagnik, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan, Kevon Cooper, Fidel Edwards, James Faulkner, Shreevats Goswami, Samuel Badree, Harmeet Singh, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Vikramjeet Malik, Kumar Boresa, Ashok Menaria, Kusal Perera, Sachin Baby, Sanju Samson, Owais Shah, Rahul Shukla, Amit Singh, Pravin Tambe.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Dale Steyn, Akshat Reddy, Ashish Reddy, DB Ravi Teja, Nathan McCullum, Anand Rajan, Biplab Samantray, Chris Lynn, Darren Sammy, Karan Sharma, Prasant Padmanabhan, Sachin Rana, Shikhar Dhawan, Sandeep Tyagi, T Sargunam, Veer Pratap Singh, Ankit Sharma, Parthiv Patel, Cameron White, GH Vihari, Thisara Perera, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma.