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Match Preview – Sunrisers vs RCB, Indian Premier League 2022, 54th Match

The playoffs race has started heating up and these two teams are in the thick of it. Royal Challengers Bangalore found a way to bounce back after three losses with a win against Chennai Super Kings in their previous match. Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are coming into this game losing three in a row, will be looking for that win to get back in the top four.
While the Virat KohliKane Williamson bromance is one part of the narrative, both the stalwarts have been enduring a rough patch this season. Their scoring rates are also hurting their respective teams. Williamson’s form has been among the major concerns for Sunrisers – he has scored 199 runs in 10 games, and his strike rate of 96.13 is the worst for a batter who has faced a minimum of 150 balls this season. And Kohli is second on this list, with a strike rate of 111.9. He has not found a way out of his batting slump yet – he has scored 216 runs in 11 games at an average of 21.60 – and has continued to struggle against spin.
If at all the previous encounter between these sides is a testament to what Sunrisers are capable of, Royal Challengers will want to capitalise on their winning momentum to seek the perfect revenge. But Marco Jansen, who was instrumental in bowling Royal Challengers out for 68 in that game has been dropped following expensive returns in the last few games. Royal Challengers have also found an able uncapped pair in Rajat Patidar and Mahipal Lomror who have spruced up the batting. Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel have shown great control at the death on more than one occasion. But, they will be expecting more from their captain Faf du Plessis, who has also been struggling to find consistency this season.

Sunrisers have already shown how well they can bounce back. It looked like they were in for yet another dismal season when they lost their first two matches. Then they won five on the trot and became strong contenders to make the playoffs These three losses have pegged them back and it’s been largely down to their bowling unit – which has been their strength this season – not performing up to mark. Umran Malik, who was their trump card in the wins, has erred in his lengths and returned expensive figures in the last two games. They also missed the injured T Natarajan’s accuracy at the death. Among the bright spots have been Aiden Markram, who has continued to show his value in the middle order, while Nicholas Pooran hitting form has added to the positives.

Washington Sundar and Natarajan were forced to sit out with injuries in Sunrisers’ previous match against Delhi Capitals. Head coach Tom Moody said they will be reviewing Washington and “there’s a chance he will be available for the next [RCB] game”. Natarajan meanwhile is likely to be available only for Sunrisers’ match against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 14, Moody said.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Shahbaz Ahmed, 6 Mahipal Lomror, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 Kane Williamson (capt), 2 Abhishek Sharma, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 6 Shashank Singh, 7 Washington Sundar/Sean Abbott, 8 Shreyas Gopal 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Kartik Tyagi, 11 Umran Malik

Pooran unleashed some big hits and took Sunrisers close in the previous match against Capitals, scoring 62 off 37. While he took on the quicks, he was cautious against spinners – even in the match against Chennai Super Kings where he scored 64. Royal Challengers can unleash Wanindu Hasaranga to keep Pooran quiet. While Pooran has struggled more against balls that have been spinning away from him, legspinner Hasaranga could keep him in check with his googlies. In fact, Pooran has faced just four deliveries of Hasaranga in T20s – all of which have been googlies – and has been dismissed once.

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