SunRisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals should have both won their first matches but then managed to concede them. They now face each other with an aim to get off the mark in this year's IPL. There are few areas of concern for both sides and both sets of management need to be wary about the strengths and weaknesses of the sides.
David Warner, who announced his arrival in the IPL in grand style, will hold the key at the top of the order. However, he has to be careful about Rajasthan's new ball bowlers in Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni, who have a good record against the left-handers.
Dhawal Kulkarni has dismissed Warner on two occasions in the IPL and has conceded just 44 runs in 52 balls. The Australian, on the other hand, has only managed 14 runs in 21 balls against Unadkat at a strike-rate of 66.67.
For Hyderabad, the form of Vijay Shankar can be a massive plus for the side. If we consider the batting average of batsmen in the IPL who have played a minimum of 15 innings, the Tamil Nadu-man has topped the chart with a staggering 58.83. When he scores these runs, he hums along at a fair clip and has a strike rate of 142.91 in the IPL which is the third best among the current SRH squad.
Kane will be back at the helm
Kane Williamson is expected to be back for Hyderabad and he will once again take charge as the skipper of the side. His batting form and strike rate last year was nothing short of a revelation and now the Kiwi needs only two fours to complete 100 boundaries.
Shakib, who renders great balance in the middle order with his all-round contributions, now needs 5 more wickets to complete 350 T20 wickets.
For Hyderabad, the form of Yusuf Pathan is a big worry. He looked rusty in the first match but continues to get the nod since he can single-handedly win matches on his day. However, he needs to be more consistent in the middle order. His last 50+ score in the IPL was 22 innings ago against Delhi in 2017 season. He has scored over 30 runs in an innings in just 2 matches out of the 22 innings.
"We bowled really well for 17 overs to put them (KKR) in a position where they needed 17+ an over in the last three overs. That is an exceptional performance. Where they (the bowlers) failed, was just with the execution in the closing overs to Russel," SRH coach Tom Moody said on the eve of the match.