The Dubai International Cricket Stadium will host the 26th Match of the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 when Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) face Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Sunday.
RR will enter this game on the back of four successive losses, including the one on Friday where they were beaten by Delhi Capitals (DC) in Sharjah.
RR had kickstarted their campaign with twin wins against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). But the Steve Smith-led side has since then been searching for a win, having been beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI).
SRH, on the other hand, lost their first two games against RCB and KKR. While they lost one more game – against MI, the David Warner-led unit has managed to add three wins to their account, beating DC, CSK and KXIP to pocket six points.
The Warner-Smith battle
It is not the first time that these two will be facing each other in the IPL, but still the Warner versus Smith contest will be one to watch out for. While one has had a successful run with SRH as a captain and as a batsman, the other is one of the finest batsmen going around. Although the two will be fiercely focussed on the eventual outcome of the match, there may be a battle within a battle to be won with regards to their batting prowess.
While RR will be out to break the four-match losing streak, SRH will be eager to continue their winning ways and here are the players who could decide the fate of the contest.
He missed out on a hundred, but what entertainment he provided during his 97-run blitz against KXIP to set up SRH’s win. Jonny Bairstow was severe against pace and spin and SRH will want him to continue in the same vein.
If RR has to win, Jos Buttler will need to fire. He has shown flashes of brilliance in all his innings in the IPL 2020 and has a 44-ball 70-run knock against MI, but he will be looking for a big score against SRH to set the ball rolling for RR.
The SRH skipper played a perfect foil to Jonny Bairstow and along the way also completed 50th IPL fifty and 9th successive 50-plus score against KXIP. David Warner has two successive fifties against his name and he will be eager to make it three in a row and guide his team to a victory against RR.
With 8 wickets against his name, Jofra Archer is currently RR’s leading wicket-taker. The right-arm pacer was lethal with the ball in hand and picked two wickets at the top against DC and if he manages to do that against the likes of Warner, Bairstow, Kane Williamson and Co., RR will be in with a chance to halt the losing streak.
Spin, bounce, guile and wickets; Rashid Khan was once again miserly and picked up three wickets for 12 against KXIP. The leg-spinner will be someone that Warner will bank on against the likes of Buttler, Smith, Sanju Samson and Co.
Can he halt the dip in form and come out all guns blazing? If Sanju Samson manages to turn the tide and return to his big-hitting and big-scoring form, he will give RR a chance to bounce back after a series of wins. Add to it, the treat he will provide to the cricket fans with those delectable shots.