Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014, Abu Dhabi April 17, 2014

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face off

31

Play 04:07
Dravid's absence will affect Rajasthan

Match facts

Hyderabad v Rajasthan, Abu Dhabi
Thursday, April 18, 2014
Start time 1830 (1430 GMT, 2000 IST)

Big Picture

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad were rabid in their defence of low totals, winning three out of four times they posted under 140. Both teams have, in the past, squeezed every last resource available to produce the desired result. It remains to be seen if the revamped teams can do the same this season.

Shane Watson, Rajasthan's new captain, proclaimed the side has emerged stronger after the spot-fixing scandal and the only thing on their minds is the season ahead. They have a settled squad and bank on each player justifying his potential and sometimes exceeding it. Take the case of their allrounders: James Faulkner, in 2013, became the first bowler to snare two five-fors in the same edition and has since gained considerable repute at the death, with both bat and ball. Abhishek Nayar and Rajat Bhatia have had little or no opportunity to showcase their wares in international cricket, but their all-round value is beyond question.

Hyderabad also ride on two explosive talents from Australia as well. The top-order looks terrifying with the newly-enlisted Aaron Finch and David Warner and combining with captain Shikhar Dhawan. But brittleness lurks lower down. Most teams would attempt to nip out the two big-hitting Australians with spin early on and hope for the middle order to falter. But as Hyderabad showed last season, their Dale Steyn-led bowling attack is more than game to pick up the slack, especially if Abu Dhabi welcomes both teams with another grassy pitch.

Watch out for ...

The T20 world has learned to speak Darren Sammy's name in hushed tones this year. A strike-rate of 212.32 and a penchant for dusting off chases with the most brutal flourish has elevated the allrounder on par with the best finishers in the business. Plus, the number of Australians in the opposition might tempt him to up his game just that bit more.

Steven Smith is everyone's favourite scrapper. He was an instant hit in his debut season and the effort he places into building his game and an admirably cool head under pressure has hoisted him to be in contention for Australia's Test captaincy. A fact Rajasthan would have paid attention to while snapping him up as their most expensive buy.

Stats and trivia

  • Rajasthan knocked Hyderabad out of the tournament last year in the eliminator match

  • Dale Steyn's economy rate of 6.34 is the best among fast bowlers in the league

    Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • on April 18, 2014, 14:45 GMT

      If SRH wanna win this match they should keep ishant away from the playing 11!!!

    • on April 18, 2014, 14:12 GMT

      hyderabad may win this day bcoz dey have gud batsmens & evn xtraordinary bowlers & spinners...!!!

    • wolf777 on April 18, 2014, 14:00 GMT

      Steve Smith roks and so is going tobe Royals...

    • on April 18, 2014, 13:39 GMT

      hyderabad badsha dhawan one man show

    • AyaazBhat on April 18, 2014, 12:56 GMT

      I hope Parvez Rasool is given a chance today, coz he deserves it and He is not only a decent off spin bowler but also a really handy and good batsman!Hope he makes it to playing 11 !

    • Bruisers on April 18, 2014, 10:09 GMT

      The Royals are no match to the Sunrisers. I mean, look at the Sunrisers squad. The top three consists of Dhawan, Finch and Warner. The pace attack has Steyn, Ishant, Kumar and Holder. The spin department looks strong with the two leggies Mishra and Karn Sharma, along with the offie Rasool. There are capable all rounders in Sammy and Pathan. The Royals, in comparison, are over-reliant on a few players and their bowlers will be smashed to all parts of the stadium this season. Watson, who can't even control himself, will find it difficult to captain this team.

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:30 GMT

      Watson is set to open with Rahane. Its not a bad idea to go with Smith in initial few matches instead of Hodge and see how it goes. If the pitch assists spin, it would be nice to keep Abdulla in the team as well. Success of Samson and Binny is key here as well. My 11 will be as follows.

      1)Watson 2)Rahane 3)Samson 4)Binny 5)Smith 6)Abhishek Nayar/Chand 7)Faulkner 8)Cooper/Southee/Cutting 9)Thambe 10)Abdulla/Kulkarni 11)Bhatia

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:21 GMT

      my team will be - A rahane U chand S watson S sammon S smith A nayar S binny j faulknar / b hodge I abdulla T Southee P tabmbe

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:08 GMT

      1.Ajinkya Rahane 2.Unmukt Chand 3.Sanju Samson 4.Shane Watson 5.Stuart Binny 6.Brad Hodge 7.Steve Smith 8.James Faulkner 9.Pravin Tambe 10.Dhawal Kulkarni 11.Iqbal Abdulla

      This should be the team for today's game..! This looks rock solid in batting bowling and fielding...! Spin department looks a little weak but it can be overcomed by match practise. Also other batsmen all rounders and fast bowlers should cover them up. If this team is played RR will win for sure. #Halla Bol.... #RR

    • SamWintson92 on April 18, 2014, 8:43 GMT

      My Teams:

      RR XI: (Please don't play Chand. He's slow, doesn't have good T20 stats and was a flop in his previous IPL outings, Watson should open) 1 Watson (C) 2 Rahane 3 Samson (WK) 4 S Smith 5 Hodge 6 Binny 7 Karun Nair 8 Faulkner 9 Bhatia 10 I Abdullah 11 Tambe.

      SRH XI: 1 Dhawan (C) 2 Warner 3 Finch 4 Juneja 5 N Ojha (WK) 6 K Sharma 7 Sammy 8 I Pathan/Rasool 9 Mishra 10 Steyn 11 Bhuvneshwar.

    • on April 18, 2014, 14:45 GMT

      If SRH wanna win this match they should keep ishant away from the playing 11!!!

    • on April 18, 2014, 14:12 GMT

      hyderabad may win this day bcoz dey have gud batsmens & evn xtraordinary bowlers & spinners...!!!

    • wolf777 on April 18, 2014, 14:00 GMT

      Steve Smith roks and so is going tobe Royals...

    • on April 18, 2014, 13:39 GMT

      hyderabad badsha dhawan one man show

    • AyaazBhat on April 18, 2014, 12:56 GMT

      I hope Parvez Rasool is given a chance today, coz he deserves it and He is not only a decent off spin bowler but also a really handy and good batsman!Hope he makes it to playing 11 !

    • Bruisers on April 18, 2014, 10:09 GMT

      The Royals are no match to the Sunrisers. I mean, look at the Sunrisers squad. The top three consists of Dhawan, Finch and Warner. The pace attack has Steyn, Ishant, Kumar and Holder. The spin department looks strong with the two leggies Mishra and Karn Sharma, along with the offie Rasool. There are capable all rounders in Sammy and Pathan. The Royals, in comparison, are over-reliant on a few players and their bowlers will be smashed to all parts of the stadium this season. Watson, who can't even control himself, will find it difficult to captain this team.

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:30 GMT

      Watson is set to open with Rahane. Its not a bad idea to go with Smith in initial few matches instead of Hodge and see how it goes. If the pitch assists spin, it would be nice to keep Abdulla in the team as well. Success of Samson and Binny is key here as well. My 11 will be as follows.

      1)Watson 2)Rahane 3)Samson 4)Binny 5)Smith 6)Abhishek Nayar/Chand 7)Faulkner 8)Cooper/Southee/Cutting 9)Thambe 10)Abdulla/Kulkarni 11)Bhatia

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:21 GMT

      my team will be - A rahane U chand S watson S sammon S smith A nayar S binny j faulknar / b hodge I abdulla T Southee P tabmbe

    • on April 18, 2014, 9:08 GMT

      1.Ajinkya Rahane 2.Unmukt Chand 3.Sanju Samson 4.Shane Watson 5.Stuart Binny 6.Brad Hodge 7.Steve Smith 8.James Faulkner 9.Pravin Tambe 10.Dhawal Kulkarni 11.Iqbal Abdulla

      This should be the team for today's game..! This looks rock solid in batting bowling and fielding...! Spin department looks a little weak but it can be overcomed by match practise. Also other batsmen all rounders and fast bowlers should cover them up. If this team is played RR will win for sure. #Halla Bol.... #RR

    • SamWintson92 on April 18, 2014, 8:43 GMT

      My Teams:

      RR XI: (Please don't play Chand. He's slow, doesn't have good T20 stats and was a flop in his previous IPL outings, Watson should open) 1 Watson (C) 2 Rahane 3 Samson (WK) 4 S Smith 5 Hodge 6 Binny 7 Karun Nair 8 Faulkner 9 Bhatia 10 I Abdullah 11 Tambe.

      SRH XI: 1 Dhawan (C) 2 Warner 3 Finch 4 Juneja 5 N Ojha (WK) 6 K Sharma 7 Sammy 8 I Pathan/Rasool 9 Mishra 10 Steyn 11 Bhuvneshwar.

    • kricet_fan on April 18, 2014, 7:26 GMT

      this will be a very boring match to watch as SRH lack big hitters in middle order and rajasthan has only 2 big hitters - watson and hodge.. this will be a low scoring contest.

    • Sagarneel on April 18, 2014, 7:10 GMT

      RR's gonna miss their home ground for sure. They were invincible in Jaipur, and that was one of the greatest factors for their success last year, although they were ordinary in their away matches. This, along with Dravid's on field absence is going to cost them big time.

    • srdoc on April 18, 2014, 6:57 GMT

      Considering the pitch conditions of Abu Dhabi and brittle batting in the middle, Parvez Rasool and Ashish Reddyshould find a place in the playing eleven. 1. Finch 2. S Dhawan 3. Warner 4. Ojha 5. Irfan Pathan 6. Sammy 7. Ashish Reddy 8. Rasool 9. Amit Mishra 10. Styen 11. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. SRH can't afford to look beyond these eleven and Karan Sharma (spinner), Ricky Bui (batsman in form) and Ishanth Sharma (fast-medium). If they persist with these 14 players SRH will become a formidable force to reckon with as the tournment progresses.

    • on April 18, 2014, 6:39 GMT

      1 A Rahane 2 U Chand 3 S Samson 4 S Watson 5 S Smith 6 B Hodge 7 S Binny 8 R Bhatia 9 J Faulkner 10 D Kulkarni 11 P Tambe.

    • on April 18, 2014, 6:34 GMT

      we all knw Rajasthan have always been a moneyball team .. I think they got best young indian crop like samson chand abdulla n hooda n they have very solid overseas players.... all n all they have dept in every department ...n with rahul sir n paddy upton on the roster as mentor n coach respectively... they r real deal this time ...My playin 11 would be... rahane,chand, watto, samson, smith, hodge, faulkner, bhatia, abdulla/hooda,kulkarni, tame......

    • on April 18, 2014, 6:32 GMT

      Finch Dhawan Warner Ojha Rao\Juneja Sammy Pathan Karn\Rasool Mishra Bhuvi Steyn. no place for ishant.

    • on April 18, 2014, 6:10 GMT

      Looking at the batting line-up of SRH: Dhawan, Warner, Finch, 3 out of their top 4 batsmen are openers with no one to play the pivotal role in the middle... In such a case, Taylor might be a rather sensible pick at the expense of one of two overseas star openers!

    • sreehk on April 18, 2014, 5:56 GMT

      I wish SRH team management is reading this!! Still do no understand how they did not buy middle order batsmen despite experiencing it thought out last season. They should have bought one of Bailey, Maxwell, or Mahela to add consistency with Warner or Finch as choice for opener. Warner to start, Mahela to build, and Sammy to finish. Now there is no one to build. Now no one in SRH is innings builder. Wonder what a team management does with all the expertise!!

      But SRH can do some adjustments in batting order with available resources now to balance top and middle orders:

      1. Warner 2. Dhawan 3. Ojha 4. Finch 5. Sammy 6. Pathan 7. Rasool 8. Mishra 9. Karn 10. Bhuvaneshwar 11. Steyn

      So Dhawan and Ojha should be given the roles of innings builders while Warner could provide momentum leaving Finch, Sammy, Pathan to explode later. Rasool, Mishra, and Karn amount to one batsman as emergency cushion. This gives SRH bowling options of 3 spinners and 4 pacers along with a decent middle order.

    • NIKSTERROR on April 18, 2014, 4:48 GMT

      @ Matt.au

      Had you watched Big bash this season you would have got what i meant . Like all others you know Steve Smith watching his Ashes performance and ignored Ben Cutting, seriously dude this is 20-20 cricket

    • rashmil09 on April 18, 2014, 4:21 GMT

      Steven Smith was probably the best foreign player for Pune, considering Aaron Finch too, was a part of the playing XI. He shoukd be picked by Jaipur in my opinion. SRH to me, look a little too less with batting options. My Playing XI - RR - A Rahane, U Chand, S Samson, S Watson, S Smith, B Hodge, S Binny, R Bhatia, J Faulkner, D Kulkarni, P Tambe. SRH - A Finch, S Dhawan, D Warner, N Ojha,V Rao, D Sammy, I Pathan, D Steyn, K Sharma, A Mishra, C Milind (He was excellent in India U-19)

    • on April 18, 2014, 4:06 GMT

      Both team are soo strong in this IPL, but atleast dhawan play well to keep his position in Indian team as well

    • perl57 on April 18, 2014, 3:56 GMT

      Should be interesting and it is the man management of both teams that makes this an interesting duel. Local talents, Sanju Samson and Ricky Bhui should come to the party which they left it while attending for national duties.

    • on April 18, 2014, 2:45 GMT

      Both team have some good players. Both team have good batsman and good bowler. It depends on how quickly they can adapt the condition that many of the player are alien to. In the last version of cricketing match the way Pravin Tambe bowled is still in the air. Despite his age, the success he attained is very outstanding. If the team continues him despite his low performance in Indian domestic cricket than it would be a matter of gambling for the team. It is not sure that tambe can perform the same in this series also. He has been retained by the RR by using RTM option in a very cheap price. If he will be in playing 11 and make the team win than it will be not a surprise as he has done it before. For sunrisers they need to consider their batting line up also. They have a good bowling line up and should focus in improving the batting also. RR after losing Dravid they might have low confidence, they should be able to recover it and try to deliver the best.

    • on April 18, 2014, 2:06 GMT

      I am from hyderabad..but i beleive Rajasthan has slight edge over hyderabad in the last season and this because of the one X factor "Brad Hodge". For me he is the best t20 player...He is a complete package...give him 10 balls to face and he is all over opposition in a matter of 1 over. Good fielder in the deep and a more than useful offie. Hyderabad ofcourse has STEYN gun and new improved Sammy to go with good opening pair.

    • Matt.au on April 18, 2014, 1:17 GMT

      @NIKSTERROR

      If you have to ask why people talk about Steve Smith perhaps you don't watch much cricket or understand it?

    • on April 18, 2014, 0:23 GMT

      My rajasthan royals team 1 unmukt chand 2 rahane 3 watson 4 samson 5 hodge 6 binny 7 faulkner 8 bhatia 9 southee/cooper 10 tambe 11 kulkarni

    • Abbas67 on April 17, 2014, 20:56 GMT

      Please update possible playing XI and display IPL team names ... RR : Rahane Chand Watson Samson Hodge Binny Bhatia Hooda Faulkner Southee Kulkarni ! SRH : Finch Dhawan Warner Srikanth Taylor Ojha Pathan Mishra Steyn Kumar Ishant !

    • on April 17, 2014, 19:17 GMT

      SRH squad for tomorrow - 1. Finch, 2.Warner, 3.Dhawan, 4.LK Rahul, 5.Sammy, 6.venugopal/Juneja/Rasool, 7.Irfan Pathan, 8.Karn Sharma 9.Amit Mishra 10. Steyn 11.Bhuvi. This team has a solid bowling force and the batting looks a lot better than most teams.

    • on April 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

      evenly matched teams? are you kidding me? Hyderabad looks like one of the strongest teams while Rajasthan looks like one of the worst! I am predicting Hyderabad to finish in the top 2 and go all the way ... Their bowling has always been their strength and now they've also added some brilliant batsmen to their squad - both Indian as well as overseas.

      Rajasthan to finish 6th or 7th

    • kc69 on April 17, 2014, 18:40 GMT

      I would call it a favourable match for SRH looking at their bowling attack which is far more stronger than any team in this tournament.

    • NIKSTERROR on April 17, 2014, 15:49 GMT

      Why everyone is talking about Steven Smith ? I think Ben Cutting would be best suited for RR as he is a power hitter and a fast bowler , Faulkner may not be in his best bowling form and RR don't have Trivedi this time so team mmanagement should look either for cutting or Southee/ Cooper .

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    • NIKSTERROR on April 17, 2014, 15:49 GMT

      Why everyone is talking about Steven Smith ? I think Ben Cutting would be best suited for RR as he is a power hitter and a fast bowler , Faulkner may not be in his best bowling form and RR don't have Trivedi this time so team mmanagement should look either for cutting or Southee/ Cooper .

    • kc69 on April 17, 2014, 18:40 GMT

      I would call it a favourable match for SRH looking at their bowling attack which is far more stronger than any team in this tournament.

    • on April 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

      evenly matched teams? are you kidding me? Hyderabad looks like one of the strongest teams while Rajasthan looks like one of the worst! I am predicting Hyderabad to finish in the top 2 and go all the way ... Their bowling has always been their strength and now they've also added some brilliant batsmen to their squad - both Indian as well as overseas.

      Rajasthan to finish 6th or 7th

    • on April 17, 2014, 19:17 GMT

      SRH squad for tomorrow - 1. Finch, 2.Warner, 3.Dhawan, 4.LK Rahul, 5.Sammy, 6.venugopal/Juneja/Rasool, 7.Irfan Pathan, 8.Karn Sharma 9.Amit Mishra 10. Steyn 11.Bhuvi. This team has a solid bowling force and the batting looks a lot better than most teams.

    • Abbas67 on April 17, 2014, 20:56 GMT

      Please update possible playing XI and display IPL team names ... RR : Rahane Chand Watson Samson Hodge Binny Bhatia Hooda Faulkner Southee Kulkarni ! SRH : Finch Dhawan Warner Srikanth Taylor Ojha Pathan Mishra Steyn Kumar Ishant !

    • on April 18, 2014, 0:23 GMT

      My rajasthan royals team 1 unmukt chand 2 rahane 3 watson 4 samson 5 hodge 6 binny 7 faulkner 8 bhatia 9 southee/cooper 10 tambe 11 kulkarni

    • Matt.au on April 18, 2014, 1:17 GMT

      @NIKSTERROR

      If you have to ask why people talk about Steve Smith perhaps you don't watch much cricket or understand it?

    • on April 18, 2014, 2:06 GMT

      I am from hyderabad..but i beleive Rajasthan has slight edge over hyderabad in the last season and this because of the one X factor "Brad Hodge". For me he is the best t20 player...He is a complete package...give him 10 balls to face and he is all over opposition in a matter of 1 over. Good fielder in the deep and a more than useful offie. Hyderabad ofcourse has STEYN gun and new improved Sammy to go with good opening pair.

    • on April 18, 2014, 2:45 GMT

      Both team have some good players. Both team have good batsman and good bowler. It depends on how quickly they can adapt the condition that many of the player are alien to. In the last version of cricketing match the way Pravin Tambe bowled is still in the air. Despite his age, the success he attained is very outstanding. If the team continues him despite his low performance in Indian domestic cricket than it would be a matter of gambling for the team. It is not sure that tambe can perform the same in this series also. He has been retained by the RR by using RTM option in a very cheap price. If he will be in playing 11 and make the team win than it will be not a surprise as he has done it before. For sunrisers they need to consider their batting line up also. They have a good bowling line up and should focus in improving the batting also. RR after losing Dravid they might have low confidence, they should be able to recover it and try to deliver the best.

    • perl57 on April 18, 2014, 3:56 GMT

      Should be interesting and it is the man management of both teams that makes this an interesting duel. Local talents, Sanju Samson and Ricky Bhui should come to the party which they left it while attending for national duties.