When the two raging bulls clash, the world goes mad. And here we are approaching one of the most interesting weekends of IPL 2017. With the race for the fourth position and the top two finish heating up and you know the goosebumps are not far away. Sunrisers Hyderabad would be hoping to ride on their unbreached home run to nose ahead of the hungry pack. The defending champions surprisingly find themselves relegated to the fourth position in the points table owing to a loss against Delhi Daredevils in the last match. And they need to win two of their last 3 matches to assure themselves a place in playoffs. Here are the Preview and Match Result Predictions for Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rising Pune Supergiant.
Rising Pune Supergiants have really upped the ante with six wins from their last seven matches. The winning streak has been really inspiring as they have found a new hero every match. Currently they are third in the table with 14 points in 11 games.
A win here for either Sunrisers or Supergiants would propel them ahead of KKR. With KXIP and DD breathing down their necks for a spot in playoffs, this one assumes so much more importance. Despite a slew of victories, Pune would be wary of the fact that no team has been able to trump Sunrisers in their den this season.
A different pitch then the previous ones is expected to be used here at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. This wicket is slightly sluggish and two paced. This means spinners and medium pace bowlers are going to have a say in this match.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – STRENGTHS
The top five of the batting line up of the Sunrisers are in true form. David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan are hitting the top gear in the Powerplay itself. The rich form of Kane Williamson has allowed Warner to express himself. The last time they played here at Hyderabad, Warner made a mockery of KKR’s strong bowling with a scintillating ton.
Yuvraj Singh stitched a perfect half century in the last match against Delhi, giving himself time to read the wicket and then finishing with a flurry. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan have shouldered the responsibility of the bowling attack with amazing consistency. And they have won all of their five games that they have played here this season.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – WEAKNESSES
In the last match against Delhi, Hyderabad found themselves short of the fifth bowler. Moises Henriques hasn’t been convincing with the ball leaking away some runs. The teams have adopted a defending approach against Rashid Khan.
The leg spinner’s economy rate in his last five matches (6.40) is better than it was in his first five (7.25), but where he took nine wickets in his first five games, he has only taken three in his next five. And with the loss against Delhi, the winning momentum has been lost.
RISING PUNE SUPERGIANTS – STRENGTHS
Well the winning chariot they have embarked upon, is their biggest strength. In every match, one or the other player has put up his hand to ride them home. Whether it is the uncapped Rahul Tripathi or the costliest Ben Stokes or the vintage Dhoni.
They overcame the defiant KKR in the last match owing to some clean hitting from the new kid in the block, Rahul Tripathi. The fact that he is the highest run getter in the team having the greats like Dhoni and Smith is an achievement in itself. Jaydev Unadkat is another domestic recruit besides Washington Sundar who have performed consistently for Pune. Imran Tahir is now the second highest wicket taker this season.
RISING PUNE SUPERGIANTS – WEAKNESSES
Like their opponents, the fifth bowler dilemma can haunt them against an in form batting line up of Sunrisers. Dhoni and Smith have thrown off good starts. The biggest thing to worry about for Pune is the indifferent form of Ajinkya Rahane.
SRH – With the wicket expected to be slow, Bipul Sharma may replace Deepak Hooda. The fit again Ashish Nehra may be brought in for Mohd. Siraj or Siddarth Kaul.
David Warner (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha (wk), Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Siddarth Kaul
RPS – On a slow wicket, the slow medium pacer Rajat Bhatia could be handy. But Pune may decide to stick with their winning combination.
Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith (capt), Manoj Tiwary, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (wk), Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Imran Tahir, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur
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HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Played – 3, SRH – 1, RPS – 2
Earlier this season at Pune, Dhoni special helped Supergiants chase down Sunrisers total of 177 in a last ball finish.
The clashes among the top four teams in the later half of the tournament have produced some memorable ones in the IPL. With both teams going all out for the supremacy, this is up there on the must watch list.
If RPS bats first
1st Innings Score: 160 – 170
SRH wins by 5 wickets
If SRH bats first
1st Innings Score: 160 – 170
RPS wins by 5 wickets