File photo of the Rajasthan Royals team celebrating. (BCCI)
Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals will look to get back to winning ways when they face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Game 36 of IPL 6 at Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on Saturday. Rajasthan lost two matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings by close margins but they will take heart from the fact that they have an impeccable record at home, having won all their three matches at the venue so far.
But despite their defeats Rajasthan got a few positives from the two games - the first is the form of Shane Watson, who hit a superb century against CSK, and the second is James Faulkner, who has been the most consistent bowler for RR this season, having taken 11 wickets in five matches. Those two will once again be vital cogs in the scheme of things against Hyderabad.
Ajit Chandila, the offspinner, has also done well upfront, while Siddharth Trivedi too has been consistent in the latter part of an innings. Kevon Cooper did go for plenty against CSK, but whether the team management goes in with the West Indies allrounder or veteran spinner Brad Hogg will be interesting to see.
Hyderabad would be very disappointed after losing a close contest to CSK on Thursday. They were well on their way to defending 160, but MS Dhoni played a match-winning innings yet again to take his side home.
Their batting looked very weak until Shikhar Dhawan joined them against CSK. The left-hander, having fully recovered from the injury he suffered during the Test series against Australia, looked in mercurial touch from the outset, scoring a fluent 63 off 45. The team management may decide to bring back Kumar Sangakkara as Quinton de Kock, the young wicketkeeper batsman from South Africa, looked ordinary in his three outings.
Hyderabad's bowling was once again impressive against CSK, with Amit Mishra adding three more to his wickets tally and Karan Sharma also troubling the batsmen with his economical spell of legspin. They may bring back Sri Lanka's Thisara Perera in place of West Indies' Darren Sammy if the former has recovered from injury. Perera has shone both with the bat and ball and might be preferred over Sammy if fit.
Rajasthan also hold an upper hand in the head-to-head contests between the two sides, winning seven of the nine matches.
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Ajinkaya Rahane, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Stuart Binny, 5 Brad Hodge, 6 Dishant Yagnik (wk), 7 James Faulkner, 8 Kevon Cooper/Brad Hogg, 9 Rahul Shukla, 10 Ajit Chandila, 11 Siddharth Trivedi
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Hanuma Vihari, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt/wk), 4 Cameron White, 5 Thalaivan Sargunam, 6 Thisara Perera/Darren Sammy, 7 Amit Mishra, 8 Ashish Reddy, 9 Karan Sharma, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Ishant Sharma