Bruised and battered in their last game, Rajasthan Royals would look for a much-improved effort from the batting unit against Sunrisers Hyderabad in order to avoid a hat-trick of defeats in the IPL in Jaipur on Sunday.
RR dished out a shoddy batting display as they were bowled out for 118 by Gujarat Titans on Friday.
Despite back-to-back defeats against Mumbai Indians and GT, RR have managed to hold on to their spot in the top four of the standings with five wins and as many losses.
In their last outing RR, which boasts of one of the potent opening duo of the in-form Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler, put up a disastrous batting display.
But the duo failed to live up to the expectations.
RR have always looked like a dominating side when Jaiswal and Buttler click but the team management would be concerned with the inconsistent run of its middle-orders as the likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Riyan Parag and Shimron Hetmyer are yet to fire in unison.
RR coach Kumar Sangakkara didn’t mince his words in criticising the effort of his batters, especially against the spinners.
“You can’t sit and wait in T20 cricket and let the bowlers bowl to us…we played a very poor game,” a livid Sangakkar said.
“Even a defence in T20 cricket has to have the intent of wanting to score. You work down the sequence of 6, 4, 3, 2, 1; or, if you’re under pressure, you go 4, 3, 2, 1. But you are always looking for opportunities to score, and at the minimum, getting off strike.
“And once that intent is shown, it doesn’t matter how good a bowler you are, you are always thinking that you can’t give the batter anything loose because you’re going to get put away. So that’s one area that we’ve got to really look at,” he added.
On the bowling front too, RR will have to pull up the socks with Trent Boult and Adam Zampa going for runs.
The onus would be on Boult and Sandeep Sharma to provide a good start and the the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal taking charge.
SRH, on the other hand, have registered just three wins from nine games to occupy the penultimate spot in the 10-team competition.
Having suffered a close five-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in their last game, SRH would look to return to winning ways to keep their play-off hopes alive.
SRH have been hit hard by the poor show of the batters. The opening pair of Abhishek Sharma and Mayank Agarwal has failed to provide quick starts, putting immense pressure on the likes of Rahul Tripathi, skipper Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen to do the job.
Harry Brook also seemed to have lost his touch after his unbeaten 100 as he scored just 63 runs in the next eight games.
SRH’s bowling unit led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar too needs to deliver for the side.
Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Dhruv Jorel, Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, R Ashwin, Jason Holder, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, M Ashwin, K M Asif, K C Cariappa, Donovan Ferreira, Devdutt Padikkal, Obed McCoy, Joe Root, Kuldeep Sen, Akash Vashist, Kuldip Yadav, Adam Zampa, Abdul Basith.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Aiden Markram (c), Abdul Samad, Rahul Tripathi, Glenn Phillips, Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Kartik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, Umran Malik, Harry Brook, Mayank Agarwal, Heinrich Klaasen, Adil Rashid, Mayank Markande, Vivrant Sharma, Samarth Vyas, Sanvir Singh, Upendra Yadav, Mayank Dagar, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Akeal Hosein and Anmolpreet Singh.
Match starts at 7:30 PM.