Sunrisers are placed better than Royals on the points table, having won five out of their 10 games.
Both Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will begin life without their key overseas players when they face-off in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on April 26.
At this stage, Royals are more affected than Sunrisers with the absence of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer, who have left for England to join the World Cup camp.
Sunrisers will surely miss the services of their destructive opener and Englishman Jonny Bairstow, who formed the most potent opening pairing alongside David Warner.
Things will get tougher for both teams after the departure of Australians -- Warner and Royals skipper Steve Smith -- next week.
Sunrisers are placed better than Royals on the points table, having won five out of their 10 games. Royals have only won four of their 11 games but they too remain in the hunt for a play-off spot.
All-rounder Archer propelled Royals to a thrilling victory over KKR on April 25 and his absence too will be felt very much.
The departure of three Englishmen could cost Royals dear but the form of Ajinkya Rahane and Smith is a positive sign.
The real find for Royals has been Riyan Parag, 17-year-old boy from Assam, who has shown remarkable skill with bat and ball, demonstrating tremendous temperament. He made 47 off 31 against KKR and put back Rajasthan Royals on road to victory from a very tight situation.
Sanju Samson is also in good nick and Rahul Tripathi too has clicked with a fifty in the opening slot. The likes of Ashton Turner and Liam Livingstone have not been up to the mark and will have to raise their game.
The bowling will be a bigger worry for the hosts because Archer was the most effective bowler for them in death overs. However, Varun Aaron was very impressive against KKR with 2 for 20 and the Man of the Match award would also boost his confidence.
Oshane Thomas too had a decent outing with 1 for 32. The hosts would also look up to Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaidev Unadkat to tighten the screws on the opposition.
Sunrisers come into this game on the back of a disappointing defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings who chased down their total of 175 with six wickets and one ball to spare.
They too will deeply affected by the absence of overseas players but have been smart with their replacements.
Warner, who would be playing his last match of the season on April 29, could be replaced by Martin Guptill.
The Kiwi could partner his skipper Kane Williamson at the top of the order once Warner leaves.
Timing – 8 pm
Venue – Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.
Where to watch – Star Sports 1/1HD/1 Hindi/1HD Hindi/1 Tamil/1 Telugu/1 Kannada/1 Bangla/Select 1/Select 1HD. Online viewers can catch the action live on Hotstar.
Head to head:
The two teams have faced each other on 10 occasions in the past. Sunrisers hold the slight edge with 6 wins while Royals have won 4 matches.
When these two teams met earlier this season at Hyderabad, the Royals posted 198 riding on Samson’s 102* off 55 balls. However, a 110-run opening stand between Warner and Bairstow helped SRH chase down the total with 5 wickets and an over remaining.
Royals will be without Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer while Sunrisers will miss the services of Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order. Wriddhiman Saha will most likely return for SRH to keep wickets. Liam Livingstone and Ashton Turner could come in to replace Stokes and Archer.
The Sunrisers have been rampant with their dynamic opening pair but will be left with a big void to fill in the absence of Bairstow. Rajasthan could continue their impressive recent form and pull off yet another upset victory.
Betting odds (Bet365):
Rajasthan Royals: 4/6
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 6/5
Other popular bets can be viewed on Oddschecker.com.
Pitch report: The track at Jaipur has been good for batting and will offer an advantage to the team chasing. Five out of the six matches this season have been won by the team batting second.
Moneycontrol Dream XI: Sanju Samson (WK), Ajinkya Rahane, David Warner (C), Steve Smith, Manish Pandey, Riyan Parag, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shreyas Gopal and Varun Aaron.
Players to watch out for:
Steven Smith (RR)
The newly appointed RR skipper has been in impressive form off late barring the game against KKR. He will be expected to bounce back with another big score.
David Warner (SRH)
Another Aussie to look out for, Warner leads the run-scorers charts with 574 runs from just 10 matches. He will be eager to provide a good start especially in the absence of his opening partner Bairstow.IPL points table: SRH currently occupy fourth spot on the table with 10 points and could take a big step towards a playoff berth with a win. RR have just 8 points and occupy seventh spot but still have an outside chance of making it to the playoffs. Check out the updated points table here.The Great Diwali Discount!
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