RPS-vs-SRH-PREVIEW

Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) will battle against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 40 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. This is a battle between a team chasing the top spot on the points table, and a team struggling to stay off the bottom. As such, SRH are the clear favourites, but as we have seen in the tournament so far, top ranked teams do not always prosper against the lower-ranked ones. Gujarat Lions (GL) are the prime examples for this; they lost 3 matches in a row while being table-toppers, but have recovered and are now again at the top of the table. Live Cricket Scorecard: Rising Pune Supergiants vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016 Match 40 at Visakhapatnam

RPS have been plagued with injuries galore. Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith, Faf du Plessis, and Mitchell Marsh have all been ruled out of the tournament, while Murugan Ashwin has picked up a niggle as well. The full extent of his injury is not yet known, but given their rotten luck it would come as no surprise if he too makes it to the list of RPS cricketers ruled out of IPL 9. READ: IPL 2016: Amul takes dig on plight of Rising Pune Supergiants

Usman Khawaja and George Bailey have come in as replacements for RPS, and the batting has by and large clicked for them so far. Sadly, the bowling has failed to make an impression. Ishant Sharma and RP Singh have been expensive, while Irfan Pathan has inexplicably not been used. Ravichandran Ashwin too has been under-utilised by MS Dhoni. Ashok Dinda and Rajat Bhatia have been good for RPS, but neither man is a spearhead. Thisara Perera has been playing largely because of a lack of options, but Adam Zampa bowled well against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the previous match. READ: Rajat Bhatia confident of Usman Khawaja, George Bailey doing well

On the other hand, SRH have been on a roll. The bowling attack, comprising of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Moises Henriques, and Yuvraj Singh has looked by far the most impressive of the tournament. Bhuvneshwar and Nehra have been probing with the new ball as well as the death, while Mustafizur has been exceptional whenever he has needed to bowl.

As for the batting, SRH have always relied heavily on David Warner, but with Shikhar Dhawan finding form in the last few matches they now have a stable top order, with Kane Williamson, Yuvraj, and Henriques in the middle order along with Naman Ojha and Deepak Hooda as backup.

RPS beat SRH in their last encounter after an inspired spell from Dinda, so Warner and Co. will be wary of an encore. SRH are still the better team on current form and posses a good enough bowling attack to take out the RPS top order. Once that happens, RPS will be vulnerable. All the signs point to a thrilling match at Vizag.

Squads:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Ashish Reddy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bipul Sharma, Karn Sharma, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Shikhar Dhawan, Siddharth Kaul, Moises Henriques, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Deepak Hooda, Mustafizur Rahman, Aditya Tare, Barinder Singh Sran, Ben Cutting, Vijay Shankar, Abhimanyu Mithun, Tirumalsetti Suman

Rising Pune Supergiants: MS Dhoni (c), Steven Smith, Faf du Plessis, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Marsh, Ashwin Murugan, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Thisara Perera, Rajat Bhatia, Ashok Dinda, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, RP Singh, Adam Zampa, Ishwar Pandey, Deepak Chahar, Jaskaran Singh, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Ankit Sharma

Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he enjoys watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)