The Sunrisers Hyderabad cruised to a nine-wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals in their first match of the Indian Premier League 2018 season. After opting to bowl first, the 2016 champions restricted the Royals to just 125 in 20 overs, with all the bowlers performing well.
Chasing 126 for victory, SRH lost Wriddhiman Saha’s wicket early on but Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson put on a crucial partnership and saw things through, with the former taking on the bowlers and the latter just playing second fiddle and anchoring the innings.
They will play their second match against the Mumbai Indians at home once again and will look to move to the top of the table with a win over the defending champions.
Shikhar Dhawan took the game away from Rajasthan in their first match of the season. He was in sensational form with the Indian cricket team over the past few months or so and carried on from where he left off to score 77 in just 57 deliveries. He will look to provide his side with the perfect start once again against the strong bowling attack of the Mumbai Indians.
Wriddhiman Saha might be given another chance to open the innings against Mumbai, however, if he fails once again, we might see him drop down the order for the remaining games. He had the perfect preparation for the IPL with a 22 ball century in a local T20 game in Kolkata prior to the tournament and will look to do much of the same in this tournament as well.
Kane Williamson was lauded for his captaincy tactics in the first match and people feel that he is the perfect replacement for David Warner. He performed well with the bat as well and will probably provide the anchor to the innings for the remaining matches as well like he did in the first match.
Manish Pandey was expected to open the innings along with Dhawan but playing him in the middle-order makes a lot more sense. He has proved to be extremely consistent with the bat over the past year or so and will hope to provide stability to SRH’s middle-order this season.
Deepak Hooda would be the perfect choice for the number 5 slot in the batting line-up. He would feel hard done with the fact that he’s not got a chance to play for the Indian cricket team yet. He will look to make a mark for himself and get the selectors to take note of his performances.
Yusuf Pathan didn’t get to bowl or bat in the first game and will be itching to get into action. He was a live wire in the field and will hope to do a lot more in the next few matches. He will play the role of the finisher of the side.
Shakib al Hasan
Shakib al Hasan bowled extremely well in the first match against Rajasthan as he picked up two wickets and conceded just 23 runs in the four overs he bowled. He will play a key role for his side this year and will look to contribute equally with the bat and the ball.
Rashid Khan, as expected, was impressive in his first match as he picked up one wicket and conceded 23 runs in the four overs he bowled. He is one of the contenders for the Purple Cap this year.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the best limited-overs bowlers in the world right now and will spearhead SRH’s bowling attack for the rest of the season. He conceded 30 runs in the first match and will hope to improve on this aspect in the next game.
Billy Stanlake bowled consistently quick and troubled the opposition batsmen in the first match. He also picked up a wicket and conceded just 29 runs in his four overs. He will hope to continue his good run of form.
Siddharth Kaul produced a magnificent performance as he conceded just 17 runs in his four overs and picked up two wickets. He will hope to perform well in the rest of the tournament and get the selectors to notice his performances.