After new skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to field, SRH employed a number of new strategies.
Rashid Khan was used for two overs in the powerplay - he sent back Yashasvi Jaiswal and would've had Buttler LBW had a review not been carelessly wasted in the previous over. As it turned out, Buttler and Sanju Samson put on a match-defining partnership before the Englishman went berserk to record his maiden IPL hundred.
The Orange Army were never really in the game during the run-chase, as inspired spells of bowling from Kartik Tyagi, Chris Morris and Mustafizur Rahman consigned them to a morale-sapping defeat.
Here are 3 players who flopped in the IPL encounter between RR and SRH on May 2.
#3 Kedar Jadhav (SRH)
Kedar Jadhav has flown under the radar since SRH offered him a new lease of life by raising their paddle for him in the IPL 2021 auction. The stocky middle-order batsman struck a couple of lusty blows against the Chennai Super Kings, and came into bat at No. 5 vs RR with his team on 85/3.
What followed was an all-too-familiar display of struggle and lack of timing at the crease. A six hit off Rahul Tewatia ensured that Jadhav's strike rate barely touched three figures, as a wild heave across the line off Chris Morris had his stumps in disarray.
SRH need to seriously consider whether Jadhav offers enough to the team as a specialist batsman.
#2 Kane Williamson (SRH)
At the helm of the SRH side for the first time in IPL 2021, Kane Williamson would've looked to build on his impressive win rate, which hovered around the 53% mark before the RR clash. But things went horribly wrong for the Kiwi, both from a tactical and a batting perspective.
Williamson used up two overs of Rashid Khan in the powerplay, and was left with very few bowlers who could exert control over the middle overs. He opted to attack against Buttler and Samson with his premier bowlers in the hope of a wicket, but their failure to provide a breakthrough had SRH in all sorts of trouble at the death.
In the run-chase, the decision to open with Manish Pandey didn't pay dividends, leaving Williamson with a lot to do at No. 3. All he could manage was a scratchy 21-ball 20 as he found the boundary only once and put immense pressure on the weak middle order.
#1 Vijay Shankar (SRH)
In an SRH middle order impacted by frequent chopping and changing, Vijay Shankar has been a constant in the playing XI, even if his batting position hasn't remained constant. But the all-rounder hasn't been able to make a mark with both bat and ball.
In this game against RR, Shankar was introduced very late in the attack and had to share fifth-bowler duties with Mohammad Nabi. Once the off-spinner was taken for 21 runs in his first (and only) over, the 30-year-old had to deliver two overs at the death. He was taken to the cleaners by Buttler, as he conceded 42 runs in his three overs with his wicket of Sanju Samson a scant consolation.
With the bat, Shankar walked in at his preferred No. 4 spot. His fortunes didn't improve, as he scored 8 off 8 before falling to Chris Morris as the required run rate reached unscalable proportions.