All-time meetings: Rajasthan Royals W4, Sunrisers Hyderabad W6 Last meeting: Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Rajasthan Royals by 5 wickets
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Paddy Upton
Captain: Steve Smith
Rajasthan Royals have won three of their last five games to haul themselves back in contention for a top four place but they know they have to win at least two of their final three matches left.
Jofra Archer was the hero with the bat in their last win against Kolkata Knight Riders last time out, smashing 27 from 11 balls to win in the final over, but the all-rounder has departed for England duty along with Ben Stokes. Archer especially will be missed by the Royals.
With the overseas pair departed, that will hand an opening to two of Liam Livingstone, Ashton Turner and Ish Sodhi to come into the team and the New Zealand spinner is a strong candidate to come in here.
Coach: Tom Moody
Captain: Kane Williamson
Despite losing to Chennai Super Kings last time out, Sunrisers Hyderabad sit in the final play-off place coming into this game and while they have a little more margin for error than the Royals do, they will want to push on and virtually eliminate them here.
Star wicketkeeper/batsman Jonny Bairstow has joined Stokes and Archer in heading back to England so his stunning opening partnership with David Warner is broken up and that will see either Wriddhiman Saha or Sreevats Goswami come in behind the stumps.
Skipper Kane Williamson has returned to India after travelling home to New Zealand briefly due to a family bereavement and he could well decide to promote himself to open with Warner in Bairstow’s absence, while Mohammad Nabi or even Martin Guptill could come into the side too.
International call-ups are beginning to take effect on some of these teams now and Rajasthan Royals are impacted more than most as Buttler, Stokes and Archer have now left. The Sunrisers will miss Jonny Bairstow themselves but they have some good options to replace him. These teams have plenty to play for but it really is a must-win game for the Royals. With changes to their batting line-up, they could well struggle against the Sunrisers' talented bowling attack, and the visitors may just edge this to consolidate their top four place.
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