Do Or Die situation for both teams at Hyderabad
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
Time: 4 PM IST
The pitch at the stadium in Hyderabad is batting friendly with even bounce. The flat track assists good shot making and playing through the line. The last time RCB played a match here, it ended in a Super Over. The team chasing has won in all 3 matches played at this ground in IPL 7; something that should make the decision to bowl first a no-brainer.
Head To Head
RCB and SRH have faced each other only thrice, with RCB winning 2 of these games. The 1 match which SRH won had gone right down to the wire which had to be decided through a super over. With the prospect of AB de Villiers to face off against Dale Steyn again, we could see some fireworks again with AB already having emerged on top twice.
RCB showed real resolve in defeating CSK in their own den owing to a good all round team performance. The bowlers did immensely well in restricting an explosive lineup to a score below 140. Muttiah Muralitharan found wonderful turn at Ranchi so it might be tempting to see if he can replicate that at Hyderabad. Abu Nechim was a revelation with his death bowling. RCB’s top order finally dug in and ground out a solid partnership at the top, leaving the in-form AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh with just enough time and work to do.
SRH made a bold and brave move in their last match, replacing Shikhar Dhawan as the captain with Darren Sammy assuming control for the rest of the tournament. This move was made to allow Dhawan to focus solely on his batting and get big scores at the top of the order with complete freedom. In their previous game against KKR, all the top order batsmen managed to get off to starts but failed to carry on to hit a big one. This has been the problem for SRH for the majority of the competition with the top heavy batting not firing as well as they would have liked. The bowling gave too many runs away as well by bowling hittable lines and lengths.
Preview Of The Teams:
RCB need to win all three of their remaining games and SRH are one of their competitors for the final slot in the play offs. Both are on equal points and a win is the only result that will help either. The team which loses today is practically knocked out of the reckoning for that coveted spot.
RCB have had their woes this season but it has all started to come together for them right when it matters the most. The batting lineup showed grit in the previous match on an extremely tough pitch while the hitting of AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh has put the opposing teams in a spot of bother. With Varun Aaron, Mitchell Starc and Yuzvendra Chahal all having picked up more than 10 wickets, the core of the bowling department looks in good hands. With the mastery of Muttiah Muralitharan and raw potential of Abu Nechim, things look good for RCB.
SRH have been pulling through the competition with their bowling unit doing most of the hard work. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been their best player so far with Dale Steyn looking lethal with his pace. Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma have been good with their leg spin but Irfan Pathan has been ordinary to say the least. The top heavy batting lineup has not done their best with Dhawan and Finch not doing well consistently. Warner has been their best batsman but has been held back constantly. Naman Ojha has been a respite, playing well in the last couple of matches.
Parthiv Patel was a crucial part of SRH’s lineup and has a good understanding of the conditions. His own form for RCB hasn’t been as consistent as he would like. Back in the opener’s slot, he would want to lay his claim for once and for all at Hyderabad. His task would be to go for the big hits considering Chris Gayle’s go-slow approach this season.
Shikhar Dhawan was replaced as SRH skipper before their game against KKR to allow him to concentrate on his batting. He couldn’t respond with runs on Sunday but will want to show that he is not easily affected and can still play those dazzling knocks, making him an adversary to watch out for on Tuesday. Naman Ojha and David Warner are two other Sunrisers batsmen in the middle of a good run and will be crucial targets for the bowlers.
Dale Steyn will be eager for a third set against AB de Villiers even though recent games at SRH’s home ground suggest an encounter would go in the batsman’s favour. Hell hath no fury like the fastest bowler in the world scorned.