Seeking revival, SRH change leadership as they prepare to take on Royals


NEW DELHI,  May 1: In a desperate attempt to arrest their slide, SunRisers Hyderabad have thrust Kane Williamson into the leadership role by removing David Warner as they prepare to take on Rajasthan Royals, who are also struggling like them, here on Sunday.

In a surprise move, SRH removed struggling Australian batsman Warner from the captaincy on Saturday as the side has lost five of the six matches under him this IPL season.

The Royals are not faring any better as they have managed to win only two matches out of the six they have played. No wonder, the Royals are placed seventh just above SRH.

SRH are coming into Sunday’s match after losing their last two matches including the Super Over defeat against Chennai Super Kings.

SRH rely heavily on their top-order — Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey and Williamson — but they did not fire together. Their middle order is without a solid batsman.

There is a possibility that Warner could be dropped from the playing XI and West Indies captain Jason Holder is likely to replace him.

In his six innings, Warner has scored 3, 54, 36, 37, 6 and 57.

Englishman Jonny Bairstow has also struggled while Williamson has played in just three matches with 66 not out as his highest.

The Kiwi batsman and Pandey, who has two half centuries in four matches, hold the key for SRH if their openers fail to give good starts.

The poor quality of Indian talent has also been SunRisers’ bane.

In the bowling department, a lot depends of Afghan spinner Rashid Khan and he has been doing a decent job if not excellent, with nine wickets from six matches. But he is not getting enough support from his bowling colleagues.

Senior India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar struggled with just three wickets from four matches. He did not play in SRH’s last two matches. He again suffered a thigh strain against Punjab Kings.

The Sanju Samson-led RR lack consistency. They notched up their first win in their second game and lost their next two matches before winning again — against a struggling Kolkata Knight Riders.

In their last match against Mumbai Indians, the top-order did a decent job to put up 171 for 4 but their bowling let them down. They let MI batsmen score freely to lose by seven wickets with nine balls to spare.

RR have a lot of issues to sort out, particularly in the absence of key foreign players like Jofra Archer and  Ben Stokes.

Their batting depends heavily on Samson but the inconsistent captain has not fired since the 119 in the opening match. The knock of 42 was his best after that. Opener Jos Buttler is yet to score a half century in six matches.

The middle-order is struggling with David Miller having scored just one half century in five games while Riyan Parag is out-of-form with 25 as his highest.

In the bowling department, million dollar recruit Chris Morris has been doing a great job with 11 wickets from six matches but he cannot single-handedly carry the team on his shoulders.

Rahul Tewatia too has not delivered as per expectations, taking just one wickets from six matches. Senior pacer Jaydev Unadkat has four wickets to show in as many games while Bangladesh import Mustafizur Rahman has taken five from six matches.

Young Chetan Sakariya has been Royals’ find with seven wickets from six matches.

The Teams (From):

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c & wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Riyan Parag, David  Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris,  Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Sreevats Goswami (wk),  Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Virat Singh, Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid  Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar  Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman.

Match Starts at 3:30pm.  (PTI)