A win over the Rajasthan Royals will keep Sunrisers Hyderabad in the hunt for a place in the playoffs © IANS
By Prakash Govindasreenivasan
Hyderabad: May 16, 2013
Mentally-shaken Rajasthan Royals travel down South to take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 68th match of the Indian Premier League 2013.
A day after Rajasthan’s fixture against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were taken in custody by the Delhi police for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing.
However, Rahul Dravid & Co. will know very well that life in the tournament needs to go on undeterred.
They have had a very good start to the season and this untoward incident could dent their confidence going into the playoffs. The last time Rajasthan went beyond the group stages, they were crowned champions in 2008 under the captaincy of Shane Warne. Dravid, will hope to emulate that success this year.
The absence of Chandila could be a major blow to the side on the Hyderabad wicket that could be on the slower side. In such a scenario, Dravid and Shane Watson will have to come out and take their team through the tough times. They came very close to breaching Mumbai’s fortress but fell short by 14 runs in their previous fixture and will look to get their winning habit back when they play in Hyderabad on Friday. Young Harmeet Singh could find himself in the playing XI in place of Chavan. The visitors may also rope in Sachin Baby to fill the place of Chandila. They might even be tempted to sacrifice either of Brad Hodge or James Faulkner to bring in Brad Hogg.
As for the home side, they need a win to go to fourth spot and there could be no better time to beat a strong side riddled with internal problem. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s loss to the Kings XI Punjab have boosted Sunrisers’ chance to make it to the playoffs. Their fortress was breached by the Chennai Super Kings but Cameron White-led side will hope to get the better of Rajasthan. They may field an unchanged side from their defeat to the Mumbai Indians a couple of days ago.
Going into the game, Sunrisers Hyderabad will hold the upper hand courtesy the home conditions and the unexpected controversy that would have taken up the thoughts of the Rajasthan Royals. However, Dravid’s mental strength and his ability to lead his side from the front should not be doubted one bit.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (Probable): Parthiv Patel (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Cameron White (c), Darren Sammy, Ashish Reddy, Thisara Perera, Karan Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma.
Rajasthan Royals (Probable): Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid (c), Shane Watson, Sanju Samson, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Kevon Cooper, Harmeet Singh, Brad Hogg, Siddharth Trivedi.
Time: 20.00 hrs | 14.30 GMT
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(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is an Editorial consultant at CricketCountry and a sports fanatic, with a soft corner for cricket. After studying journalism for two years, came the first big high in his professional life – the opportunity to interview his hero Adam Gilchrist and talking about his magnificent 149 in the 2007 World Cup final. While not following cricket, he is busy rooting for Chelsea FC)