Royals hold edge against Hyderabad


The fortress has not yet been captured. Guarding it are the Royals of Rajasthan, subduing every opponent who has stepped into the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here.

But the cavalry looks weary after consecutive defeats in their away campaigns against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings. Those matches have pushed Rajasthan Royals on the back foot, but they are back to where they are unbeaten – home.

And after a four- day gap, Rajasthan fans can only expect their favourite blue brigade to shine against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday. Their loss against Chennai was disappointing, as they failed to defend a total of 185, but it had one bright spot – Shane Watson.

The Aussie finally got his touch with a brilliant century.

Add to it the other in- form opener Ajinkya Rahane with the ever reliable Rahul Dravid at No. 3, and the Rajasthan top order looks awesome. Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge are capable of firing in the middle order. And they would have to remain so as their opponents’ bowling unit features World’s No. 1 bowler Dale Steyn, the tricky Amit Mishra and the talented Ishant Sharma.

Watson is looking forward to his duel with the South African speedster. “The ultimate challenge for an opening batsman is facing Dale Steyn with a brand new ball. He certainly is the world’s best fast bowler and there is no doubt that when he finishes he will go down in history as one of the greatest fast bowlers to have played the game. I am ready to face the best bowler,” the Aussie said.

The Hyderabad outfit comes to the Pink City after a heart-wrenching loss to Chennai, which saw them remain in third spot after eight matches.

Sunrisers have relied heavily on their bowlers to make a match out of low totals. They have been successful in doing so on more than one occasion but one bad day in the office for the bowlers and things have gone haywire.

The Sunrisers batsmen have hardly won them a match in a commanding fashion out of the eight so far. They can, however, draw solace from the fact that Shikhar Dhawan is back from injury and gave a glimpse of his prowess in his first match itself.

Doubt, however, remains on his availability for Saturday’s match as he had a groin injury while batting against Chennai. For the most part, SunRisers have been dependant on their middle order to score the runs.

Hanuma Vihari has been a revelation and Thisara Perera will be back against the Royals, which will only add to their strength. Stand- in captain Cameron White also adds solidity and has rescued the team on a couple of occasions.

They all will have to tread carefully against Australian left- arm pacer James Faulkner, who is currently Rajasthan’s top wickettaker and in good form. He is ably assisted by local lads Siddharth Trivedi and Ajit Chandila.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

On-field action set to divert from off-field drama

On-field action set to divert from off-field drama

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Bench refuses to grant access to recordings of Srini and Dhoni’s depositions before Mudgal committee. More »

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

A fractured little finger could now throw the Delhi Daredevils captain out of action at the start of this season. More »

SMA Trophy gets short-changed

SMA Trophy gets short-changed

Key players are away preparing for the IPL, taking the shine off the other domestic T20 fixture. (CYCSPL) More »