Two teams desperate to stay in the hunt for the IPL 2014 playoffs lock horns when the Sunrisers Hyderabad entertain the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Tuesday.
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The game is scheduled for a 4 pm IST (11.30 am BST, 6.30 am ET) start with live coverage on Sony Six (English) and Sony Max (Hindi) in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online HERE or HERE. Watch the match in the rest of the world HERE, HERE or through the GoCricket apps. Viewers in the US can catch the game on Willow TV or with the live streaming option HERE, while Canada viewers can do the same HERE.
Viewers in the UK can catch the match on ITV, while Pakistan viewers can do the same on Geo Super, with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh audience able to watch the game on TV on Masaranga TV and Carlton Sports Network respectively. Viewers in the Middle East can watch the action on OSN with the live streaming option available HERE, while New Zealand viewers can do the same via Sky NZ or HERE or via the above rest of the world options.
SRH have thrown away their chances of finishing in the top four on their own might courtesy three straight losses – all coming at their own stadium, a ground which was a fortress last season.
The Sunrisers just haven't found way to win in Hyderabad, with the batting paradise actually working against them. Last year the low and slow turning pitch had helped their spinners take control, with small totals being defended very much the norm.
However, this season, SRH haven't even been able to defend a score of over 200, which has in turn affected their results and chances of qualifying for the playoffs. The Sunrisers now need to win their remaining three matches, starting with the one against RCB on Tuesday, and hope the likes of Kolkata Knight Riders stumble at the final couple of hurdles.
"These are different conditions from last year but we have had some good games," new SRH captain Darren Sammy said. "We have not capitalized on key moments. But, it is not over, we have to win all three and hope some results go in our favour."
The decision to give Sammy the captaincy worked while fielding with the West Indian marshalling his troops pretty well and making a real fist of defending a below par score against KKR. However, Shikhar Dhawan, who was stripped of the captaincy to allow him to concentrate on his batting, continued his lean run, throwing away his wicket when he looked in supreme touch again.
For SRH to post a big score two of their big three batsmen – Dhawan, Aaron Finch and David Warner – need to fire, which has rarely been the case this season. Warner has been the pick of the three, while Finch, after a nice start to IPL 2014, has tailed off a little bit.
Against the powerful RCB lineup, all three SRH batsmen will probably have to make timely knocks to give their bowlers a chance. The Royal Challengers kept themselves in the reckoning for a playoff spot with wins in their last two matches – over the Delhi Daredevils and the Chennai Super Kings. The second win, in Ranchi against the in-form CSK, was especially impressive, and Virat Kohli's band of superstars will definitely take a lot of confidence from that victory.
Chris Gayle played a very patient knock on a difficult pitch, which was turning square, with Kohli also playing a decent hand, even if it might not have been as good as what is expected of the Indian tyro. AB De Villiers was, yet again, the match-winner, blitzing 28 from 14 balls to take RCB over the line.
With Yuvraj Singh also in top form, the Royal Challengers batting finally feels as formidable as it looked at the start of IPL 7, and the SRH bowlers, led by Dale Steyn, will need to be at their absolute best to keep the score down to a minimum.