Royals v Sunrisers, IPL 2014, Ahmedabad May 7, 2014

Faltering Sunrisers look for lift


Play 03:39
Hattangadi: Sunrisers should recall Mishra

Match facts

Thursday, May 8, 2014
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

Last season, consistency was one of the characteristics that defined Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad - their scrappy, minimal-fuss brand of cricket making them popular with fans. This season, however, while Royals have hit on a winning patch and surged to the top half of the table, Sunrisers, despite big additions to their batting, are faltering lower down.

In Sunrisers last game, AB de Villiers played the kind of innings few teams could have done anything about, but their two victories have shown how critical it is for their top order to fire. Perhaps the best example was their victory against Delhi Daredevils in the UAE, where Aaron Finch and Shikhar Dhawan added 56, the best opening stand for the side so far - which set the base for a score of 184. Compare that to their losses in which their highest total has been 155.

Like their batting, the Sunrisers bowling also relies heavily on two individuals - Amit Mishra and Dale Steyn. While Steyn will have recovered from the mauling by de Villiers, Sunrisers could bring back Mishra on a track that can be expected to be a little slower.

Royals settled into their new home ground with a win and they would like to keep that form going. They don't have a stellar away record in the IPL and with their next fixtures against Royal Challengers and Chennai Super Kings, a win here could give them a buffer.

Form guide (most recent first)

Rajasthan Royals: WWWWL Sunrisers Hyderabad: LWLWL

Where they stand

Rajasthan Royals: 3rd, with 10 points from seven games
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 7th, with 4 points from six games

Previous encounter

The teams opened their IPL 2014 campaigns against each other, with Royals huffing their way to a four-wicket win in the last over in Dubai. Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner got starts but Sunrisers were restricted to 133. The Royals reply, meanwhile, revolved solely around a fifty from Ajinkya Rahane and an unbeaten 48 from Stuart Binny, who rescued the chase from a position of 31 for 3.

Watch out for

Karun Nair played a valuable hand in Karnataka's Ranji Trophy title win this season and he seems to have found his feet for Royals too. He takes his time at the start, but once settled he has been unafraid to switch gears, even going after the faster bowlers in the opposition.

Batting at positions between No. 5 and 7, Darren Sammy has come in quite often with Sunrisers stuck in a rut. As the most important batsman in the lower order, his form has denied Sunrisers a final push, putting even more pressure on the top order.

Stats and trivia

  • Royals are the most successful IPL team batting second, having won 33 of 51 games chasing
  • David Warner needs 88 runs to become the fifth batsman to reach 5000 T20 runs


"I just try to pick the best batsman in the team, preferably the one that generally bats at the death and is used to facing yorkers, slower ones and slower bouncers. I try and pair up with him when I can."
James Faulkner gives an insight into his death-bowling preparations.

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Sam6e. I'd send in Henriques ahead of Pathan on the basis that he usually comes in at either 3rd or 4th drop for Sydney Sixers. Pathan is probably more used to coming in at 5th drop. Other than that I'd have to agree on you that Henriques can provide more for the Sunrises than Sammy at this given time unless they decide to unburden Dhawan and make Sammy Captain

  • ESPN on May 8, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    It will be 2 more years before Shikhar learns captaincy and by then SRH will have a brand new team. In the match against RCB, Sammy should not have bowled specially to AB. No matter how bad they are, Irfan and Ishant are better bowlers than Sammy. He could have brought Steyn in the 20th over instead of 19th because AB knows how Steyn bowls so someone like Irfan or Ishant would have worked better. You need to be unpredictable and catch your opposition unawares.

  • ESPN on May 8, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    SRH bowling is woefully out of form. Neither nor Mishra are lethal this year. Batting is flopping is usual.

    So SRH and DD are competing for the bottom two places. MI may win the 6Th place.

  • Vijay on May 8, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    Winning XI: SRH: 1.Dhawan 2.Ojha 3.Finch 4.warner 5.Taylor 6.Sammy 7.pathan 8.mishra 9.kumar 10.sharma 11.rasool Go with it,,,,

  • ESPN on May 8, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    RR is going to lose against sunrisers for sure what ever the player combination is

  • John on May 8, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    RR need to drop southee and bring in Brad Hodge... That wud make their batting super strong.... Watson and Binny could cover up in the bowling... Southee and Richardson are expensive anyway....

  • David on May 8, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    Drop Sammy AND Dhawan. Sammy averages 15 with the bat, and 40 with the ball. Give Brendan Taylor an opening slo, or Moises Henriques the all rounder berth. The advantage with Taylor is he is an experienced international skipper. Dhawan is a failed T20 skipper.

    It may not make much difference at this point of the season, but as the present setup is failing miserably, a change could shock them into some form.

    Steyn's bowling hasn't been his best. He is incredible when pumped up, confident & MOTIVATED. It is difficult to be motivated when you know 1 of the weak links in the chain is going to fail.To read how well the skipper is doing, watch Steyn. He is always good, but when he is motivated, he IS the best. A good skipper gets the very best out of the best.

    During India's tour of SA, Steyn had his worst run in tests. Kallis announced his retirement. Steyn wanted a win for Kallis. He went in & promptly wrecked the very good Indian batting. He was MOTIVATED. He was unplayable!

  • ESPN on May 8, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    and please bring back misra

  • ESPN on May 8, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    For some reason I love Kings 11 and SRH. One team doing really good but other doing really poor. I thing all who request the vice captain to be dropped from SRH, have a point. Sammy is a good finisher as a batsman. But he can not come anywhere closer to a fifth bowler. SRH either should play a specialist batsman or a specialist bowler. I think what ever they do RR will walk all over SRH today.

  • Shaik Ali on May 8, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    Please drop Dhawan from captaincy, its effecting his batting....let him be free as a opener and play his natural game. He is taking extra pressure to perform as a skipper...same thing happened to sachin long back....God sake drop sammy for Moises henriques coz last 2 matches were lost due to poor bowling and the fifth bowler is coughing up so many runs...henriques is much better bowler...Dhawan,Finch, Rahul, Warner, Ojha, Pathan, Henriques, K Sharma, Bhuvi,Steyn, Mishra...shud be a winning combination...for a change make Finch as captain n see

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