Rajasthan Royals (RR) have a great chance of overtaking Chennai Super Kings at the top of the IPL standings table, provided they win their crucial encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Thursday at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.
RR started the competition on a bright note winning match after match, but, of late, their performances have not been up to the mark, with rain also playing spoilsport in few of their matches so far. But, RR will be a confident side after they defeated Delhi Daredevils in their last game.
However, SRH, who lie in the seventh position of the IPL standings, were outplayed in their last game against KKR, but they are aware of the magnitude of today's game, especially with the race for the playoffs inching closer.
A victory for SRH will help them move up the table. Here are some key players, who can change the face of the match with their performance.
Ajinkya Rahane – The Indian may not go hammer and tongs, but he scores runs at will and with great elegant ease as well. The RR opener, who is the Orange Cap holder with 430 runs, has been the mainstay for the Royals. At the top of the order, Rahane has given RR some consistent starts, which has allowed players such as Steve Smith, Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson to take charge in the latter half of the innings. Rahane is looking even more dangerous with every passing game.
Tim Southee – The New Zealander has been swinging the ball both ways to good effect, which has helped him take 13 wickets in the competition. With players such as David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order for SRH, Royals skipper, Shane Watson will be keen for Southee to dismiss the openers early. Not only is the New Zealand bowler good with the new ball, he is also a great exponent of yorkers in the slog overs.
David Warner – The Australian has been in terrific form this season and has scored runs briskly for SRH at the top of the order. With a strike rate of 161.18, the SRH skipper has torn apart bowling attacks, scoring runs all round the park. The Australian is the second highest run getter in IPL 2015 with 382 runs. The batsman has been very severe on bowlers, who bowl short to him, as he clears the fence with utmose ease playing his favourite pull shot. He has hit 47 fours and 14 sixes so far and expect the numbers to increase after today's game.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – IPL 2015 has seen a number of Indian bowlers do well, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of them. With an average of 19.53, the bowler has taken 13 wickets so far. Despite possessing bowlers such as Dale Steyn and Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar has been the go-to bowler for Warner. The Indian has not only bowled economically with the new ball, but has been a difficult customer to score off in the final overs of the game as well.