IPL 2020, RR vs SRH preview: The Royal hunt for the playoffs spot

The Rajasthan Royals has eight points from 10 games, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad has six points from nine matches.

Riyan Parag (left) and Rahul Tewatia guided the Rajasthan Royals to a nail-biting win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous meeting.   -  SPORTZPICS/IPL

Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad will come face to face on Thursday at the Dubai International Stadium for the second time in 11 days. Neither side can afford to lose as the battle heats up for a 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs berth

Rajasthan has eight points from 10 games, while Hyderabad has six from nine. If this game produces even half the drama as the first encounter, cricket fans will not complain. The Royals was down and nearly out when Rahul Tewatia played the role of the saviour to perfection for the second time this season. If he did it all alone against Kings XI Punjab – with five sixes off a Sheldon Cottrell over – this time around, he had company in the form of the young Riyan Parag.

 

The men in pink are in a more confident frame of mind, too. In their last game, they romped home to an easy seven-wicket win over the beleaguered Chennai Super Kings.

ALSO READ| This wasn’t a season we expected: Bravo on CSK's IPL 2020 campaign

Sunrisers, on the other hand, hasn't tasted victory in their last three matches.

The loss in the Super Over to Kolkata Knight Riders in the last game must have hurt David Warner's men.

The captain, who dropped down to No. 4 from his usual position as opener, had made an unbeaten, 33-ball 47. However,  had he scored just one more run, he could have given his team what would have been a much-needed win. He will want to make amends.

SRH also needs runs from the overseas pros at the top of the order – Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson. When you add Manish Pandey, the batting indeed looks formidable.

ALSO READ| IPL 2020: Mohammed Shami, the man behind Kings XI’s fightback

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan's and left-arm seamer T. Natarajan have been consistent with the ball. But they will be up against a Royals batting line-up that has come back into form.

Jos Buttler and Steve Smith seem to have regained their touch, but the Royals will be hoping Sanju Samson is amongst runs too; he has disappointed after posting 70-plus scores in the first two matches.
Jofra Archer has been magnificent with the ball. The England fast bowler has been one of the shining stars at this IPL. Teenager Kartik Tyagi is the only other seamer to have impressed for Royals, so the team will continue to depend quite a bit on the leg-spin of Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia.

It will also hope that the world's premier all-rounder Ben Stokes comes  with something special.
 
The squads:

Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith (Captain), Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Ankit Rajpoot, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Mayank Markande, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye, Rahul Tewatia, Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran and Anuj Rawat.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (Captain), Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, B. Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, and Basil Thampi.

Match Details:
Game No. 40: Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Venue: Dubai International Stadium.
Date: October 22, Thursday.
Time: 7:30 p.m.

  Dugout videos