Bottom-placed franchises Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will battle it out in match 28 of IPL 2021 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. RR are at number seven in the points table, having won two matches and lost four. SRH have fared even worse, winning only one of their six games so far. In their last match, RR lost to Mumbai Indians (MI) by seven wickets. On the other hand, SRH went down to CSK by seven wickets. As RR and SRH meet on Sunday, here are three-player battles to watch out for.
1. Kane Williamson vs Chris Morris
Kane Williamson will lead SRH from tomorrow, with David Warner being sacked as captain. With SRH in such a precarious situation, it remains to be seen how he responds to the challenge. Batting wise, Williamson has been the best for SRH ever since he has been available. He is yet to be dismissed in the three knocks he has played so far. He smashed a brilliant 66 against DC and followed it up with 26 off 10 balls against CSK. Can he continue his good run with the bat as captain?
RR all-rounder Chris Morris has done really well with the ball for the franchise. He was the man of the match for his 4 for 23 against KKR and followed it up with two wickets against Mumbai Indians (MI) in a losing cause. Morris has bowled with a very good line and length and has kept things tight apart from picking key wickets. Against SRH, Williamson would be the big scalp Morris would target.
2. Jos Buttler vs Khaleel Ahmed
Although RR went down to MI in their previous game, Jos Buttler returned among the runs after a couple of poor games. He looked in good form as he eased his way to 41. RR would have liked Buttler to carry on, but the good news is that, at least, he is back among the runs. Against SRH, RR would want Buttler to come up with a big score. Being a senior batsman in the squad, he is due for one.
Minus T Natarajan , and with the availability of Bhuvneshwar Kumar uncertain, SRH have been forced to stick with Khaleel Ahmed. He did claim impressive figures of 3 for 21 against Punjab Kings (PBKS), but has been unimpressive in the last two games. He has finished with figures of 0 for 42 and 0 for 36. Buttler will look to attack him. Can Ahmed lift his game under pressure?
3. Sanju Samson vs Rashid Khan
RR captain Sanju Samson returned to form with a crucial knock of 42 not out in the much-needed victory against KKR. It was a much-wanted knock after a few failures. Buoyed by his performance, Samson came up with another impressive 42 off 27 balls against MI. The knock though came in a losing cause. Samson will look to carry on his good run but register a bigger score against SRH.
Even as his franchise has struggled, leggie Rashid Khan has been excellent for SRH. He has kept picking up wickets at crucial intervals but has had little support from the rest. In the loss against CSK as well, he claimed three wickets even as the batsmen were tonking bowlers all around the park. Samson is someone who loves taking on the spinners, but he also has the weakness to get out to rash strokes against them. This makes the Samson vs Rashid battle all the more significant.