Crescent Kashmir

Demoralised RCB run into red-hot SRH again

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RCB have suffered six defeats on the trot now in IPL 2024. All six would have hurt without a doubt. But the most recent one, against Kolkata Knight Riders, would have stung a bit more. A stunning run chase saw them almost gun down 223, only to fall one run short. For a team that badly needed a win, this was a dagger straight to the heart, almost like a final blow.

In such a scenario, the last team one would want to run into in this year’s edition of the IPL is Sunrisers Hyderabad. But here we are, less than ten days after that never-seen-before carnage at the Chinnaswamy. Records were broken left, right and center and the RCB bowlers know that a repeat cannot be ruled out given what has transpired so far. If they do manage to stop Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, they will still have to contend with Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen and Nitish Reddy. Even Shahbaz Ahmed slammed a quickfire fifty in the last game.

One thing RCB can take solace from is the fact that the SRH bowling attack has also leaked plenty. They haven’t been able to breathe easy after posting 277, 287 and most recently 266. But first thing’s first, the focus will once again be on that SRH opening pair. If RCB can find a way to get rid of them both in the powerplay, it will be a big step towards ending their miserable streak of results.

When:Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore,April 25, 2024 at 19:30 IST

Where:Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

What to expect:We have had two games in Hyderabad so far this season. One witnessed over 500 runs and the other was a moderate one with CSK making just 165, which was chased down with ease.

Team Watch

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Injuries/Availability:SRH do not have any injury concerns at the moment.

Tactics & Matchups:Jaydev Unadkat, Pat Cummins and Mayank Markande have a pretty good record against Virat Kohli in the IPL. SRH will be better served using this trio against the current orange cap holder. On the other hand, Heinrich Klaasen has a terrific record against the majority of the RCB bowlers.

Probable XI:Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Nitish Reddy, Shahbaz Ahmed, Abdul Samad, Pat Cummins, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Markande, T Natarajan [Impact sub: Washington Sundar/Jaydev Unadkat]

Royal Challengers Bengaluru

Injuries/Availability:If Glenn Maxwell continues to sit out, Cameron Green will get another opportunity in the middle order considering how well Will Jacks played the other night against KKR.

On the other hand, if RCB opt to strengthen the bowling attack against this rampaging batting lineup, Alzarri Joseph might be in line for a recall.

Tactics & Matchups:Faf du Plessis may have had an underwhelming IPL so far but his record against the likes of Bhuvneshwar, Cummins, Unadkat and Shahbaz works in his favour. Most of the bowlers from that SRH camp have a poor record against DK.

Probable XI:Faf du Plessis (C), Virat Kohli, Will Jacks, Rajat Patidar, Cameron Green, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Karn Sharma, Lockie Ferguson, Yash Dayal, Mohammed Siraj

Did you know?

The last time these two teams met in Hyderabad, Virat Kohli scored a century in a successful run chase.

The batting strikes in the powerplay of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma in IPL 2024 is 234.54 and 232.87 respectively.

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