Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals, Dubai

Pro Tip: Current form should be the biggest marker when you pick your XI. So get a majority of your players from the Sunrisers, while taking a punt on the key Royals players.

Our XI: Sanju Samson, Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Steven Smith, Manish Pandey, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed, Jofra Archer

Substitutes: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Abdul Samad, Shreyas Gopal

Player availability: Ben Stokes is available to play. Although Steven Smith said the team would take a call on him on match day, because he hasn't had much training time, it's unlikely that the Royals would leave Stokes out. Everyone else is available.

Captain: David Warner

Warner is coming off two consecutive half-centuries and seems to be hitting a high gear. But he would be mindful of the Jofra Archer threat. Last season, Warner scored 106 runs in two innings against the Royals at a strike rate of 153.62.

Vice-captain: Rashid Khan

Khan has picked up seven wickets in his last four outings at a mind-boggling economy of 3.75. Teams have fallen flat trying to play him out, giving him a dot-ball percentage of 46.37 in the middle overs this season.

Hot Picks

Sanju Samson: Yes he's hit a bit of a trough after a superb start, but quality players find a way to bounce back. You could take a punt on Samson to turn it around.

Jofra Archer: Archer is a must-have. He is Royals' highest wicket-taker so far with eight strikes. His economy is a mighty impressive 6.91. His useful cameos could give you valuable batting points too.

Manish Pandey: Pandey has got off to a start in almost every game and he would be looking to make it big this game. He bats at three, so will get a chance to come in with plenty of overs left most times. His gun fielding could fetch you some points for catches.

Differential Picks

Khaleel Ahmed: Ahmed has four wickets in four matches. The left-arm seamer will be used in the powerplay as well as at the death. These increase his chances of getting wickets. In his IPL career, Ahmed has picked up eight wickets at the death at an impressive strike rate of eight balls per wicket, and an economy of 8.71.

T Natarajan: Natarajan has been the find of the tournament for the Sunrisers. He has been nailing the yorkers on a consistent basis, and that can only help.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Going by current form, Jos Buttler is a better pick than Samson. However, since 2018, he has struggled against Khan - three runs off eight balls and three dismissals.

  • Stokes is likely to play. If he does, he's a straight pick for Rahul Tewatia. With the bat, he'll be an enforcer and will most certainly bowl at least three overs.