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Will the Royals roar against Sunrisers Hyderabad?

Last updated on: May 07, 2014 16:25 IST

Will the Royals roar against Sunrisers Hyderabad?

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Up against an outfit that is struggling to stay afloat, fancied Rajasthan Royals will look to consolidate their position in the pecking order when they lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing seventh Indian Premier League in Ahmedabad, on Thursday.

Rajasthan Royals staged a dramatic fightback to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs in their last match, while Sunrisers Hyderabad were overshadowed by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Led by inspiring Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, Rajasthan are placed third in the points table with five wins and two reverses, while the Southern team is struggling to keep their chances alive in the competition having already suffered four defeats in six games. They are placed seventh in the eight-team cash-rich tournament.

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Image: Pravin Tambe celebrates with team mates
Photographs: BCCI

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Watson the key

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Watson is always the key man in Rajasthan Royals' set-up and it will be no different this time around. The Aussie, who struck a 20-ball 31 to go with his three wickets for 21 runs, will look to do better with the willow at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera.

Young Karun Nair has shown promise at the top of the order and Rajasthan can expect a lot from him.

Ajinkya Rahane is fairly consistent and will be hoping to continue in the same vein.

For the opposition bowlers, there is also the talented Sanju Samson and Steven Smith to contend with. Rajasthan's top four batsmen made significant contributions in the come-from-behind win over Kolkata.

Then there's 42-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, who continues to attract attention with impressive performances, the last coming against Kolkata.

Even with the ball, Watson always wants to be in the thick of things. Tim Southee and James Faulkner are Rajasthan's other two specialist bowlers.

Their bowlers showed a lot of character as they checked Kolkata, who were at one stage cruising along at 121 for one, and reduced them to 123 for six before eventually running away with the game.

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Image: Shane Watson
Photographs: BCCI

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Dhawan needs to lead from the front

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As far as Sunrisers Hyderabad is concerned, skipper Shikhar Dhawan will need to lead from the front.

A good start is paramount in this form of the game, and Dhawan knows it too well. He has the aggressive Aaron Finch for company. If the duo gets going, it will be ominous for the opposition.

The in-form David Warner lends muscle to the middle-order, with all-rounder Darren Sammy following him in the batting order.

Pace spearhead Dale Steyn will lead the attack with the Indian duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma playing the support cast.

Sammy and Irfan Pathan are the other two medium pacers, while Karn Sharma will shoulder the responsibility in the spin department.


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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