Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) sent shockwaves through the IPL 2021 fraternity after announcing that Kane Williamson will replace David Warner as skipper for the rest of the season. The Kiwi star will look to start his new stint on a winning note as SRH take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Delhi on Sunday.
SRH’s dire form has prompted their management to make the big call, with the team at the bottom of the table after winning just one game this season. They were comprehensively beaten by CSK in their last match, losing the clash by seven wickets.
The Hyderabad-based side's downfall against CSK was due to familiar problems, with a meek batting effort followed by a toothless powerplay showing with the ball, ensuring MS Dhoni’s men cruised to a win.
SRH’s opponents come into the game on the back of a similar loss. RR couldn’t make the most of their solid start, with the middle-order failing to finish the innings on a high. The 172-run target was chased without much ado by MI, the defending champions winning the game with seven wickets and nine balls to spare.
There isn’t much to choose between the two bottom-placed teams in IPL 2021, and history backs it up. SRH are narrowly ahead when it comes to the head-to-head record, and have seven wins to RR’s six.
IPL 2021: RR vs SRH Match Prediction
RR have stuck with the same eleven for the past two games, which suggests the team has decided to give its current players an extended run in the side.
Although they may go with the same team, a batting line-up rejig is the need of the hour. David Miller ended up playing just four balls in the last game, while Shivam Dube played 31. The all-rounder strikes at just 117.88 this season despite playing 120+ balls, and RR may look to promote Miller, Tewatia and Morris if they want to get some runs quickly.
SRH confirmed they would be making changes to their overseas players, which sent the rumour mill into a frenzy. David Warner could be replaced by Jason Roy if SRH want some firepower at the top. Another option could see Jason Holder come back into the side, with the West Indies star improving SRH's balance.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has missed the last two games with injury but has been pictured bowling in the last couple of days. He should slot in place of either Siddharth Kaul or Khaleel Ahmed.
Jos Buttler showed signs of returning to form against MI, but the RR opener will have his hands full against SRH. The Englishman averages just 9.12 against them, with Rashid Khan dismissing the opener thrice in 14 balls. Bringing in Rashid Khan too late has been a criticism of SRH this season, and Williamson may finally unleash the leggie in the powerplay considering the favourable matchup.
Kane Williamson has a win percentage of 53.84 for SRH, the best among the SRH skippers who have led the franchise for more than 10 games. SRH are a team in shambles right now, but expect Williamson to slot right in as skipper and give the under-pressure franchise some much-needed “new captain” bounce.
RR’s problems just don’t look like they'll be solved anytime soon this season. They are a weaker team on paper compared to SRH, and it would be tough for them to come up with a win if their marquee players don’t fire on Sunday.
Prediction: SRH to win