Sunrisers Hyderabad, No. 8 in the points table, will hope a change of captain brings a change of fortunes when it takes on the seventh-placed Rajasthan Royals at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Sunday.
Kane Williamson took over SRH’s captaincy from David Warner for the remainder of IPL 2021 on Saturday. The franchise also announced there will be a change in its overseas combination for the Royals encounter.
Column Sunil Gavaskar: Surprised by the high number of no balls in IPL
The manner of SRH's five defeats has highlighted the frailty of its middle-order. Williamson and Jonny Bairstow have been good at the top but over-reliance on them has cost the side.
Manish Pandey showed glimmer of form with his 61 in the last match, but Warner's laborious fifty didn’t soothe the nerves. Although the franchise hasn't said anything officially, it is possible Jason Holder or Jason Roy could replace Warner.
READ| IPL 2021 preview: More at stake for Punjab Kings against upbeat Delhi Capitals
With T Natarajan ruled out of IPL, the bowling strength revolves around Rashid Khan. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has missed two back-to-back games, might play if fit.
Meanwhile, the fact that RR captain Sanju Samson is back among runs (42* vs KKR, 42 vs MI) should inspire the rest of its batting. Jos Buttler has been in indifferent form so far - 130 runs in six innings at a strike rate of 127.45.
READ|Williamson replaces Warner as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain in IPL 2021
RR's decision to send Shivam Dube ahead of David Miller against MI backfired as Dube struggled to get going. Royals need Miller batting higher up.
The left-arm trio of Jaydev Unadkat, Mustafizur Rehman and Chetan Sakariya has been crafty but inconsistent. Chris Morris has become a good death-bowling option.
With both sides' campaigns hitting a snag, a win for either will revive its playoffs pursuit.