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The fourth match of the season will see the Sunrisers Hyderabad open their Pepsi IPL 2014 campaign against the Rajasthan Royals.
Unlike several of the other teams in the IPL, SRH and RR do not boast too many glamorous players, yet can surprise with their above-the-weight punches. Both teams finished among the top four teams last season and will be hoping to go the distance this time round. When
Friday, April 18, 2014, 8 pm IST Where
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Shikhar Dhawan was the team’s top run-getter in the previous season and he will be expected to do the same yet again. It will be interesting to see how the left-hand batsman copes with the added responsibility of captaincy. Dhawan will possibly look to bat deep into the second half of the innings allowing the likes of David Warner and Aaron Finch to play their natural game. The one other player in the SRH line-up who can leave a telling mark on the match is Dale Steyn. The South African is the model fast bowler – fit as a fiddle, possessing a clean action, accurate to the dot, very aggression and stingy when it comes to conceding runs.
Among the others, keep an eye on how the spin twins, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma, operate; the two leg-spinners were hugely impressive on the slow and low tracks in Hyderabad last season and were top-line performers in SRH’s run to the Playoffs. With conditions not quite similar – although the pitches have offered a certain degree of turn – it will be interesting to see if they can work their magic yet again.
In the RR line-up, look no further than their skipper Shane Watson. The Australian is the most experienced player in the RR squad and he will be keen to stamp his authority on the team quickly. Among others, who will need to deliver the goods for RR, are the quick-learning and fast-maturing James Faulkner and Ajinkya Rahane.
SRH and RR shared honours in the two fixtures between them in the regular season in IPL 2013. Thereafter, the two teams met yet again in the first of the Pepsi IPL 2013 Playoff matches, where the Rahul Dravid-led Royals prevailed in their chase of 133. Trivia
The Rajasthan Royals have the largest register of players for Pepsi IPL 2014 with 25 players, yet they were left with the highest amount of unspent money (INR 5.55 Crores) at the end of the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction. What Next
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals both head to Sharjah for their next fixtures. RR’s next outing is against Kings XI Punjab on April 20, while SRH clash with the Delhi Daredevils on April 22.
It will be a battle of the Kings when two-time champions and IPL 2013 runners-up Chennai Super Kings square off against Kings XI Punjab in Match 3 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
The MS Dhoni-led CSK are perhaps the most consistent outfit in the IPL; they have contested in the Playoffs in every one of the six seasons so far, have won the championship on two occasions and finished second on three other occasions. The team owners exercised the option of retaining five key players prior to the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction – MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo, apart from Suresh Raina. As a result, they have maintained the nucleus of the team that has done well over the years. With a calm leader in MS Dhoni on the field and the serene Stephen Fleming managing the players off it, one can be sure that CSK will be best equipped for battle.
KXIP have never made it to the final four since the inaugural season of the IPL. The franchise owners and team management have made some very good buys at the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction and they will be hoping the players they have chosen will be able to deliver the goods.
Wednesday, April 18, 2014, 4 pm IST
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi The Protagonists
If it is Twenty20 and Chennai Super Kings are the topic of discussion, chances are that Raina’s name will prominently feature in the conversation. The southpaw has featured in every one of the franchise’s matches and has possibly contributed more to the team’s success than any other player. Among the recent acquisitions, Samuel Badree and Brendon McCullum will be the ones to look forward to. There is a good chance that either Faf du Plessis or Brendon McCullum will make it to the playing XI at the expense of Dwayne Bravo, who is said to be nursing an injury he suffered in the recently-concluded ICC World T20.
Kings XI Punjab were immensely impressive in their choice of players at the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction. Along with David Miller and Manan Vohra – who they retained – they have a good mix of Indian youngsters, experienced hands and overseas players with proven credentials. The one player to keep an eye on is Virender Sehwag, who has more than just one reason to deliver the goods; apart from throwing his hat back into the ring as he aims to regain a spot in the Indian team, the Delhi Dasher will also be keen to prove that he still has a lot to offer even if he is no longer the swashbuckling opener of the past.
Since rediscovering his form in IPL 2013, Mitchell Johnson has steamrolled opponents in various formats. He has bowled quick, has been accurate and incisive. And in a format where he has to bowl only four overs, expect him to go full throttle.
Including their two victories last season, Chennai Super Kings have an 8-4 win-loss record against Kings XI Punjab.
Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina has so far featured in 99 IPL matches. If he takes the field in this match, he will become the first player to bag 100 IPL caps.
Suresh Raina is the top run-getter in the IPL with 2802 runs.
Kings XI Punjab will be seen in action next at Sharjah on April 20 when they square off against the Rajasthan Royals. Chennai Super Kings will hit the turf next on April 21 when they take on the Delhi Daredevils in the late evening match.