In-form Sunrisers look to oust Royal Challengers from playoffs race
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be desperate for a win as they look to avoid getting themselves out of the playoffs contention and delay the inevitable for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Left with no choice but to win all their remaining fixtures, RCB faces a tough task as they take on the best bowling side of the tournament.
May 7, 2018
20:00 hours IST
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
The Sunrisers continued their fine form as they defeated the Delhi Daredevils in a closely fought game. The injection of Alex Hales at the top of the order has given them much needed fire power while Yusuf Pathan also seems to have found his groove lower down the order. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar also back in the ranks, the Surisers are back to full strength.
The Royal Challengers have had a contrasting season as compared to the Sunrisers. Just when it looked that their bowling woes were getting better, they endured a batting collapse at the hands of the mighty Chennai Super Kings. AB de Villiers returned to the eleven after a severe viral flu but even he fell prey to some sharp glovework from MS Dhoni.
T20 is a momentum game and RCB have had none of it so far. The fact that only one batsman out of their top seven got into double figures will be a worrying sign for them ahead of this fixture. The indifferent form of both batsmen and bowlers have made this a season which they would want to forget as quickly as they can.
For players of the likes of Virat Kohli, de Villiers and Brendon McCullum, pride becomes a very big factor. Kohli has already had to respond to a lot of questions for his failure to lead the side to a silverware ever since he became full time captain back in 2013. Another unsuccessful season will only raise further questions.
A McCullum blitz has been long due and he too would be desperate to convert his starts into a big score. The key for RCB would be to see out SRH’s new ball duo and then take on the rest. Even Rashid Khan has been taken to the cleaners in a couple of games. Unless RCB bring in their ‘A’ game, SRH are sure to seal their playoffs spot.
Expect an unchanged XI from SRH.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul
Quinton de Kock missed the last game to attend a wedding. However, Parthiv Patel’s 53 with the bat might just keep him out for this game as well.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Parthiv Patel (wk), Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Colin de Grandhomme, M Ashwin, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
- Yusuf Pathan’s 27 not out against Delhi was the 19th time he has remained not out in a successful chase – the joint most along with Ravindra Jadeja
- Parthiv Patel was the top run-getter for 2017 champions Mumbai Indians, where he scored 395 runs. The last match he played was his first of the 2018 season, having sat on the bench for eight matches
- In their last match, Parthiv and Southee scored 89 runs off 67 balls with eight fours and three sixes. The remaining nine scored 34 off 53 balls with just three fours
© Cricket World 2018