About the Match
While the spot fixing controversies have left the Cricketing world stunned, Indian Premier League marches its way forward into the business end of the tournament. What lies ahead is a decisive battle between two teams who have played unexpectedly well: Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The battle begins at 08:00pm on 17th May 2013 at Rajiv Gandhi Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad. While Rajasthan Royals have already qualified and second place looks far away but in reach, this game would be important for them as well as Sunrisers Hyderabad who have to get two wins out of two to ascertain their place in top four. A win for Sunrisers would knock Kings XI Punjab out who still have an outside chance provided Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad lose all their matches and KXIP win all their remaining matches.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have risen above all expectations to reach where they are. Royal Challengers Bangalore and KXIP would love them to lose as it would keep their hopes alive. In their last game against Mumbai Indians, all their bowlers except Dale Steyn were hammered to all parts, and surprisingly their batting performed well. Steyn has been one of the most impressive bowlers of the season so far and even Pollard wasn’t able to get him away. Their other bowlers are looking to get out of form just when in really matters. Positive batting display by Cameron White showed his hitting abilities who was well supported by Hanuma Vihari, Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel are providing good starts regularly to their side. Hyderabad is a nice balanced side, but the fluctuating form of bowlers and Indian players is of a lot of concern.
Rajasthan Royals would have to reunite and bounce back as three of their players: Ankeet Chavan, Shantakumaran Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila have caught in spot-fixing scandal. Rajasthan Royals lost their last game against Mumbai Indians by 14 runs and are now lagging behind in the race to top two. The home record of Rajasthan Royals has been flawless, but the same has not been the case with their away record. They have just won two of their seven games away and would be looking to improve it big time. Shane Watson seems to be in prime form with both bat and ball. Faulkner and Cooper have bowled exceedingly well and have often led the turnaround in the middle overs. Binny and Hodge showed their worth in the late order although their effort went away in the losing cause. The spot fixing would still be in the team’s mind which can be difficult to deal with. Overall, Rajasthan Royals is a good side, but they’d have to come out of this scandal and answer it with performance.
Both the teams have one thing in common coming into this match: they both lost their previous game to Mumbai Indians at Mumbai. Sunrisers Hyderabad would be back at their home ground where they’ve done exceedingly well. Rajasthan have done well and prevailed when the last time the two teams clashed. Sunrisers have succumbed in critical situations and this is a similar sort of game for them. Considering the overall form and team on paper, I won’t be surprised if Rajasthan Royals emerge on top yet again.
Rajasthan Royals, 2.10 @ Bovada