The first match of the doubleheader Sunday pits two previous champions Hyderabad and Rajasthan against each other in match 26 of the Indian T20 league 2020 at the Dubai International Stadium.
Hyderabad sits at the third place with three wins out of six, while Rajasthan sits at the seventh with two wins in six matches. With their loss against Delhi, Rajasthan has lost four games in a row now.
Bairstow (97 runs) and Warner (52 runs) were back to doing the thing they do best — big opening partnership. A 150+ runs partnership for the first wicket set up the whole game for Hyderabad and their bowlers. Although they scored 201 runs in the match, they collapsed toward the end, losing 6 wickets for just 41 runs in the last five overs, which will be something to improve upon.
R Khan and T Natarajan have been brilliant this whole season. Economical and picking up wickets at the same time. The consistency of T Natarajan’s yorkers has impressed everyone. With K Ahmed also contributing, the bowling attack looks more settled and strong.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, is in a tailspin at the moment. After their perfect start to the tournament, things have not gone well for them. S Smith and S Samson are getting out cheaply and the middle order does not look well equipped to handle that. Cameos from M Lomror and R Tewatia have not helped the team. The need for B Stokes grows bigger with each match.
J Archer has been the best bowler for Rajasthan so far, with 8 wickets in 6 matches with an economy rate of 6.91. The likes of S Gopal and J Unadkat need to do more if the team wants to progress to the playoffs.
There is not much to choose between when one talks about the two teams’ head-to-head record. In the 11 matches played so far, Hyderabad is slightly ahead with 6 wins compared to Rajasthan’s 5 wins. Also, by the virtue of their win last year, Punjab broke the four-match win streak of Hyderabad against them.
With both teams fighting for positions in the table, we are in for an action-packed game on a hot afternoon in Dubai.
- Match: Hyderabad vs. Rajasthan, Match 26
- Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
- Date & Time: Oct. 11, 2020, at 3.30 PM IST
Probable Playing XI
D Warner (C), J Bairstow (WK), M Pandey, K Williamson, P Garg, A Sharma, A Samad, R Khan, S Sharma, K Ahmed, T Natarajan
J Buttler (WK), Y Jaiswal, S Smith (C), S Samson, B Stokes, M Lomror, R Tewatia, S Gopal, J Archer, V Aaron, K Tyagi
The matches at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium have been very entertaining this season. The average first innings score at this venue is 182, indicating a good surface for a T20 game.
The pacers have enjoyed success at this venue with movement available in the initial overs. Changes of pace have been used to good effect, with the pitch getting a little slower as the game progresses. Also, the dimensions of the square boundaries should make the spinners’ role important.
Although teams preferred to chase early on in the tournament, with very little success, batting first on winning the toss has been the norm lately and should remain the same for this game as well.
Anything around 180 should be a competitive score at this venue, considering the firepower these two teams possess.
- J Bairstow missed out on a hundred in the last game. He looks in good form to score a big one once again.
- His partner in crime, D Warner, also scored a fifty in the last match. They would both like to put Rajasthan bowlers under pressure from the start.
- R Khan has picked up 8 wickets at an economy of just 4.83. He can wreak havoc on the struggling batting line-up of Rajasthan.
- After three single-digit scores, S Smith showed some form before getting out in the last match. Expect him to share the bulk of the scoring.
- With 130 runs in 5 innings, J Buttler is the in-form batsman at the top for Rajasthan.
- J Archer has picked up 7 wickets in his last 4 matches, with the best figures of 3/24 in the last game. He will be the team’s main weapon against Warner and Bairstow.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeepers: J Bairstow, J Buttler
- Batsmen: D Warner, S Smith, Y Jaiswal, M Pandey
- All-rounder: A Sharma
- Bowlers: R Khan, J Archer, T Natarajan, K Ahmed
- Captain: D Warner/R Khan
- Vice Captain: J Bairstow/J Buttler
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy cricket team by using your knowledge of fantasy cricket and gain maximum fantasy points. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the playing 11.