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Surging Pune look to end Sunrisers' home streak

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Tait: Big test for Unadkat against Warner & co. (3:11)

Shaun Tait and Aakash Chopra discuss about Jaydev Unadkat's rising form for Rising Pune (3:11)

Match facts

Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rising Pune Supergiant
Hyderabad, May 6, 2017
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)

Head-to-head

This season: MS Dhoni turned back the clock in a chase of 177, producing a finishing masterclass that earned Rising Pune a four-wicket win at the MCA Stadium.

Overall: The two teams have met three times, with Rising Pune winning twice and losing once.

In the news

Ashish Nehra has been in and out of the Sunrisers line-up, battling neck spasms. On the eve of the game, Sunrisers coach Tom Moody said Nehra could be available for selection. If fit, he should replace either Mohammed Siraj or Siddarth Kaul in their pace attack.

Sunrisers picked Deepak Hooda ahead of Bipul Sharma in their last match, against Delhi Daredevils. Hooda did not bat, and Sunrisers ended up hampered by the lack of a genuine sixth-bowling option. With that in mind - and the fact that their wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha has not batted in their last five matches - Sunrisers may recall Bipul and give themselves an additional spin option.

Qualification scenario

Both teams are frontrunners to make the playoffs, but neither is there quite yet. A win for either team will obviously enhance their chances, but even 16 points isn't quite safe for Rising Pune, as there is still a possibility of up to six teams finishing with 16 or more points (and that holds even if Kings XI lose to Royal Challengers today). Similarly, 15 points won't be enough for Sunrisers either, as four teams could go past that tally.

Sunrisers have a home game against Mumbai Indians, followed by an away one against Gujarat Lions in Kanpur, while Rising Pune play an away game against Daredevils, and finish their campaign at home against Kings XI.

Likely XIs

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Moises Henriques, 6 Naman Ojha (wk), 7 Deepak Hooda/Bipul Sharma, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10 Siddarth Kaul, 11 Mohammed Siraj/Ashish Nehra.

Rising Pune Supergiant: 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 MS Dhoni, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Manoj Tiwary, 7 Daniel Christian, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Imran Tahir.

Strategy punt

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has dismissed Ajinkya Rahane six times in the IPL - no other bowler has dismissed him more than three times - while only conceding 64 off 67 balls. Rahane has struggled against Bipul Sharma as well, scoring only 12 off 23 balls against the left-arm spinner. To Rahane's opening partner, Rahul Tripathi, Bipul has conceded 9 off 11 balls.* A case, therefore, for Sunrisers to open the bowling with Bhuvneshwar and Bipul.

Stats that matter

  • Sunrisers are the only team in the tournament to have not lost a home game yet. Rising Pune, however, have won their last three away games, and have beaten the other two teams in the top four - Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders - away from home.

  • Sunrisers' bowling has plateaued after an excellent start to the tournament. In the period coinciding with their first five games, Sunrisers had the second-best average (20.30) and economy rate (8.08) of all the teams. In their next five games, their average (30.55) is second from bottom while only Gujarat Lions and Delhi Daredevils have an economy rate poorer than Sunrisers' 8.93.

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a sensational start to the season, taking 15 wickets in his first five matches at 7.20 while conceding only 5.40 per over. Since then, he has taken six wickets in five games at an average of 26.16 while conceding 7.85.

  • Wary of his wicket-taking threat, teams have adopted a safety-first strategy against Rashid Khan. The legspinner's economy rate in his last five matches (6.40) is better than it was in his first five (7.25), but where he took nine wickets in his first five games, he has only taken three in his next five.

  • Moises Henriques has been especially poor in Sunrisers' last five matches, bowling 12.1 overs while conceding 11.67 per over.

  • Ben Stokes has enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in his death-bowling fortunes. In his first four games, he conceded 11.25 an over in the last five overs - in his next seven matches, that economy rate has dropped to 5.60.

  • Sunrisers have only lost 41 wickets in ten matches, and have the best batting average (43.58) and scoring rate (9.14) of all teams this season.

  • Their top five have averaged 45.97 - the best among all the teams - and scored at a strike rate of 146.00, second only to Kolkata Knight Riders, who have scored at 147.71.

*07.40GMT, May 6: The preview had erroneously stated that Bhuvneshwar had not previously bowled to Tripathi. This has been removed.