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Shikhar Dhawan stars as SRH outplay RR

Shikhar Dhawan stars as SRH outplay RR

Shane Warne, the mentor of Rajasthan Royals, tweeted, asking fans not to write them off after their nine-wicket loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening game.

Sunrisers head coach Tom Moody has recently said here that the change in captaincy in a short notice had little impact on the team.

Sunrisers Hyderabad replaced the Deccan Chargers for the 2013 season and have performed well reaching the play-offs twice and winning the title in 2016.

As a result, they have some exciting new faces in the IPL such as D'Arcy Short and Jofra Archer joining a talented bunch of Indian players. They won 8 in IPL 2013 and 4 in Champions League T20 in the same year. The likes of Rashid Khan, Shakib Al-Hasan and Siddarth Kaul were unplayable, they took every single catch that came their way and added two run-outs to the equation.

Rajasthan have a power-packed batting line up through and through. While there is never a shortage of star players in the lucrative league, injuries and the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa have robbed the tournament of at least four world-class players. Archer, Gowtham, and Klaasen are all big-hitters capable of accelerating the scoring rate. The bowling attack needs to perform to its potential though as they looked toothless the other night. Laughlin is 35 now, and his ability to contribute to the team is somewhat in doubt. Looking to flay a Dhawal Kulkarni lifter outside off, Dhawan found a thick edge that was put down by Rahane on the second attempt.

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Glenn Maxwell has rejoined the team and is likely to come in straightaway in the place of one off the allrounders, Daniel Christian or Chris Morris. The Sunrisers will play the Mumbai Indians on Friday morning for a chance to retain their position at the top of the ladder. That Royals eventually got to 125 was down to Shreyas Gopal's run-a-ball 18 full of dinks and dabs. Meanwhile, Williamson (27 years & 244 days) will become SRH's youngest captain. He has a good balance of pinch-hitters and anchors, forming one of the best batting lineups in the tournament. Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the charge.

It is quite remarkable how Gautam Gambhir defies his age and continues to step up with the bat in the IPL season after season. Sandeep Sharma is another successful bowler who has been great for Punjab over the years. Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey will are ideal in the middle order while their bowling line-up is one of the deadliest this season. It is hard to see this team losing, with it's balance and quality in both departments.

While the Rajasthan Royals bowling attack had plenty of variety, that did not translate to success on the pitch; their bowlers managed to pick up only a solitary wicket in the match against SRH.

Without David Warner, their highest run-getter in each of the previous three seasons, it was a courageous call from new Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson to field first and his bowlers justified that call in style. Do let us know in the comments section below.


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