Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rising Pune Supergiants |Tuesday 26 April | Hyderabad | 16:30
We're nearing the half-way mark of this season's IPL and things are starting to heat up. Tuesday will see the high-flying Sunrisers Hyderabad take on a star-studded Rising Pune Supergiants side.
Can the Pune franchise get their season back on track with a valuable away win or David Warner and his merry troupe of underdogs continue their push for a play-off spot? Let's take a look!
To Win Match
Sunrisers Hyderabad 4/5 | Draw 35/1 | Rising Pune Supergiants 1/1
It would be frightening to think how badly the Sunrisers Hyderabad would be doing in this season’s edition of the IPL without David Warner. The pint-sized Aussie has scored 39% of their runs this campaign alone, claiming four half-centuries in their five outings thus far. He has shown exactly what an overseas captain needs to bring to the table, leading by example. That Hyderabad sit in a playoff spot for now has a lot to do with the form of Warner. Shikhar Dhawan has shown glimpses of what he’s capable of but has not scored consistently while Eoin Morgan has been consistent in his role of middle order power hitter. The rest of the batsmen now need to stand up and be counted if they want to finish the regular season in the playoff spots.
Hyderabad’s bowling has been carried by two players; a seasoned pro in Bhuvneshwar Kumar who has done it all before and a newcomer in Mustafizur Rahman who is playing his first season of IPL. Rahman has been particularly impressive with his 7 wickets coming at an amazing economy rate of 5.75 and an average under 17. His wily off-cutters are extremely difficult to get away and batsmen just don’t seem able to pick his slower balls. Kumar has been more expensive but has shown why he has been a regular in Indian limited overs squads with his eight wickets helping the Sunrisers restrict teams to meagre totals. In fact, since their first game in which Hyderabad conceded 227 against Bangalore, they have not conceded more than 145 when bowling first. This shows a great improvement in their bowling with the likes of Moises Henriques and Barinder Sran also contributing with the ball in hand.
Rising Pune Supergiants
Perhaps the most disappointing side this season when one takes into account the talent they have within their ranks, Pune have been nowhere near as good as many thought they would be. Second favourites coming into the tournament, they are now languishing in seventh place in the points table. Ajinkya Rahane has played the lone hand in a batting line-up that consists of some of the best batsmen to play the game. Faf du Plessis is the only one that comes close to Rahane but he has now failed in the last two matches. Steve Smith has not looked anywhere near his best, as has MS Dhoni and Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the tournament due to a calf injury. All-rounders Albie Morkel and Thisara Perera have come into the side recently and will be looking to fill the middle order void left by Pietersen. The batsmen need to start performing if Pune are to win matches consistently.
The bowlers have not been much better and apart from Murugan Ashwin who has contributed with seven wickets so far there have not been many big contributions. Perera has so far taken five wickets in three games but has gone at an economy rate of 9. Albie Morkel picked up 2 wickets in his first game against Gujarat but was very expensive. Ravi Ashwin has been terrible this season taking just 1 wicket at an average of 103. For an international off-spinner (and regarded as one of the best) this is unacceptable. The more experienced players need to show up soon to help the faltering batsmen. That being said, when batting first, Pune’s lowest total is 152 which is not too bad considering some of the surfaces, but the bowling has just not been able to defend a total.
Pune’s issue seems to be that when they bat first they don’t seem to be able to post a total big enough for the bowlers to defend and when they bat second they don’t seem able to chase down the targets set by the bowlers. They need to find consistency in both departments if they wish to add to their one win in the tournament so far.
Verdict: Sunrisers Hyderabad to win at 4/5
Hyderabad should have enough to come out on top against a side who have lost four games on the trot. They have won three matches in a row and seem to have found a good balance between batting and bowling. The form of David Warner is crucial and whether he comes off or not in this game could have a big impact on the result. I fancy Hyderabad to see off Pune here in front of their home fans and keep their push for a play-off spot alive.
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