Winners of the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League in 2008, Rajasthan Royals, will host defending and 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 28th match of IPL 2018 on Sunday (April 29) at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium (SMS). While SRH Team 2018 has emerged as one of the most in-form teams in the tournament so far with five wins in their first seven outings, Ajinkya Rahane’s RR Team 2018 have managed a stop-start campaign with three wins and three losses in six matches played. The IPL 2018 RR vs SRH match will be the second meeting between these two sides in IPL 2018 as Sunrisers thumped the Royals by 9 wickets on April 9. Ahead of the IPL RR vs SRH match, SRH Team 2018 have recorded two back to back stellar wins by bowling out their opponents after managing below-par totals while batting first. The IPL 2018 SRH vs RR will also include the battle between the two skippers Ajinkya Rahane and Kane Williamson, two fine cricketers of our generation who have done well in the IPL despite being labelled as red-ball specialists in the past. Another interesting thing to watch out for in the IPL RR vs SRH match between RR Team 2018 and SRH Team 2018 will be the form of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler as the two Englishmen haven’t done much in this year’s tournament so far. Prior to the high octane IPL RR vs SRH match on April 29, what also needs to be considered is that both these teams – RR Team 2018 and SRH Team 2018 – have an array of T20 superstars in their respective lineups like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Kane Williamson, Shikhar Dhawan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Alex Hales, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Heinrich Klaasen, Sanju Samson, Carlos Brathwaite, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Jordan and D’Arcy Short.
Ahead of the IPL SRH vs RR match on Sunday, we list down five players who could decide the game at Sawai Mansingh Stadium (SMS) in Jaipur:
1. Rashid Khan (SRH Team 2018)
Having conceded an unprecedented 104 runs in two games against Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings after a solid start to IPL 2018, Rashid Khan is well and truly back at his imperious best as he has now won back-to-back ‘Man of the Match’ awards to bounce back in style. The spin wizard from Afghanistan has been instrumental in Sunrisers Hyderabad defending below-par scores of 118 and 133 runs in their last two league outings in the tournament. Rashid has also bowled as many as 72 dot balls in 7 games this season, most by any bowler and a staggering statistic considering the smash and hit nature of T20 cricket.
The 19-year-old will once be the go-to man for skipper Kane Williamson and a man to watch out for in the IPL 2018 RR vs SRH encounter at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday (April 29).
2. Sanju Samson (RR Team 2018)
With scores of 239 runs including two crucial half-centuries so far in the tournament, another young Indian player who has caught the fancy of fans and pundits alike is RR Team 2018 youngster Sanju Samson. The Kerala batsman has covered up big time for the Royals’ misfiring ‘Galacticos’ like Ben Stokes and D’Arcy Short, looking a class apart from the rest of his teammates. Such was the impact of his 45 ball 92 in RR Team 2018 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore that opposition skipper Virat Kohli could do nothing but watch and admire the blitzkrieg at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Prior to the IPL SRH vs RR match, Sanju returned to form with a classy fifty against Mumbai Indians after two failures with the bat in between.
The Kane Williamson-led SRH Team 2018 will certainly be studying the 23-year-old’s methods in detail as they prepare for the IPL 2018 RR vs SRH match. It is still a bit early in the season, but one gets the feeling that Sanju Samson has finally arrived on the big stage.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 15, 2018
3. Kane Williamson (SRH Team 2018)
Many were fearing the worst for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kane Williamson at the beginning of the season when David Warner was suspended from playing in IPL 2018 owing to his role in Australia’s ball-tampering controversy. The soft-spoken Kiwi international was suddenly thrust into the captain’s role but credit to the 27-year-old, he has risen to the occasion and led his troops with aplomb as SRH Team 2018 has emerged as the tournament’s best bowling side. Williamson has also batted superbly this season even when others around him have failed. With Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey and Wriddhiman Saha struggling with consistency and form issues, Williamson has aptly taken over the responsibility to lead the SRH batting line-up.
The New Zealand skipper has scored 259 runs in his 7 outings till now at an average of 57.50 and has 3 consecutive half-centuries to his name, also making him the fourth highest run-getter in IPL 2018 at this stage. Williamson is a classy batsman, who is not known to be a power-hitter and neither a T20 specialist but this season he is showcasing a different side of his game, having smashed 21 fours and 9 sixes till now. Getting him early will be the plan for RR Team 2018, because the longer he stays in the game, the more difficult the task will be the home team.
4. Jofra Archer (RR Team 2018)
Jofra Archer is one of the very few players to have won a ‘Man of the Match’ award in their first ever IPL game as the Sussex pacer rattled the Mumbai Indians with his pace and pin point yorkers in the death overs last Sunday. After emerging as one of the stars of Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL07), much was expected of Archer as he was signed up for a whopping INR 7.20 crore by Rajasthan Royals at the players auction in January. The 23-year-old was forced to miss the first few games of the tournament due to fitness issues but made an impressive debut last week, picking up 3 wickets in his 4 overs while conceding just 22 runs in the process.
Archer’s specific T20 skills will be a big boost for RR Team 2018 as they look to build some winning momentum and push for a playoffs spot in the coming weeks. As such, he will also be a key player in the IPL 2018 SRH vs RR match.
5. Ben Stokes (RR Team 2018)
Singed up by the returning Rajasthan Royals for a whopping INR 12.50 crore at the mega players auction in January, Ben Stokes emerged as the most expensive IPL player for a second year running and deservedly so. In his maiden IPL stint, the English all-rounder emerged as the most valuable player of the tournament in the 2017 edition where he turned out for the now defunct Rising Pune Supergiant and took them to the final. Much was expected of Stokes this year as he switched to RR Team 2018 and was supposed to be the poster boy of their comeback campaign. The 26-year-old has looked rusty in his first few outings and his displays have been well below the expectations for Ajinkya Rahane’s team thus far in the competition.
Stokes has also been involved in plenty of off-field issues, a fact which might still be playing on his mind. Nonetheless, he remains a world-class cricketer and it won’t be long before fans across the world get to see the best of him. RR Team 2018 will hope that the controversial Englishman turns on his magic in the IPL 2018 SRH vs RR match at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday (April 29).