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Hyderabad look to leapfrog Rajasthan on points table with a win

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Rajasthan will be looking to claim back-to-back wins when they take on Hyderabad in Dubai on Thursday, October 22. The season 1 champions currently find themselves sixth in the points table and will be looking to close the gap to the top four with what would be their second win over Hyderabad in the 2020 Indian T20 League.

Hyderabad, on the other hand, need to string together a good run of results quickly if they want to be in the playoff. David Warner’s boys find themselves second from bottom having played a game less than Rajasthan and will know that a win on Thursday will see them leapfrog their opponents in the standings on net run rate.

The head-to-head between the teams splits the two sides right down the middle with six wins each from 12 encounters. Here, we look at a few key players and talking points to keep an eye on during the contest. 

Rashid Khan will pose a threat to Rajasthan’s batsmen

Hyderabad’s joint leading wicket-taker this season with 11 scalps, Rashid Khan has been the pick of their bowlers and will have a huge role to play with the ball if Hyderabad want to return to winning ways. Rashid’s average of 18.09 and his economy of 5.52 shows how much of an impact he’s had this season and how he fares against Rajasthan’s best batsmen could dictate the match’s outcome.

His record against the likes of Steve Smith and Jos Buttler in the Indian T20 League, in particular, will be something Hyderabad will be banking on. Smith has found it tough going against Rashid in three Indian T20 League innings so far, scoring just 16 runs from 22 balls at a strike rate of 72.72 and was dismissed once. 

Batsman Innings Runs Conceded Balls Dismissed
Steve Smith 3 16 22 1
Jos Buttler 3 3 8 3
Robin Uthappa 6 64 41 2
Ben Stokes 3 4 11 1
Sanju Samson 6 41 47 1

Table: Rashid Khan vs Rajasthan batsmen

Similarly, Rashid’s got the better of Buttler in all three innings that they were pitted against one other with the Englishman managing just three runs at a strike rate of 37.50. Buttler’s compatriot Ben Stoke’s record against the Afghanistan spinner isn’t that great either with the all-rounder scoring just four runs from 11 balls at a strike rate of 36.36.  

Players to watch:

Rajasthan – Jos Buttler

Even though Buttler generally struggles against Rashid, he will go into the match in a confident frame of mind. Despite not enjoying the best of seasons with the willow in hand, Buttler is still Rajasthan’s top-scorer this year with 262 runs at an average of 32.75 and a strike rate of 143.95. His performance in Rajasthan’s last match won’t do him any harm either. Having walked to the crease with Rajasthan in a spot of bother, Buttler proceeded to play a match-winning knock for his team by scoring an unbeaten 70 against Chennai to take his side to victory. He will be hoping to have a similar impact when he faces Hyderabad on Thursday.

Hyderabad – Thangarasu Natarajan

One of the few Hyderabad bowlers who can hold their heads high this season, Thangarasu Natarajan is level with Rashid on 11 wickets for the team so far. He’s picked up his performances in Hyderabad’s last four games and has taken six wickets as a reward. His 11 wickets are the most by an uncapped Indian bowler this season and only Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have claimed more wickets among domestic bowlers. This figure is, in fact, is the highest amongst Hyderabad's fast bowlers, with the closest one being Khaleel Ahmed with eight wickets

Player

Overs

Maidens

Wickets

T Natarajan

34.5

1

11

KK Ahmed

21.4

0

8

Sandeep Sharma

24

0

4

B Kumar

14.1

0

3

S Kaul

4

0

2

Basil Thampi

4

0

1

Natarajan also has an economy of 6.71 in the powerplay – eighth-best this season for bowlers with more than 8 overs in that period – and has taken six wickets in the death overs, the most by any Hyderabad bowler.

Most Wickets in Death Overs

Wickets

Kagiso Rabada

11

Mohammed Shami

9

T Natarajan

6

Stats to watch out for:

0: Hyderabad has not won a match chasing a target in the 2020 Indian T20 League.

1: Wickets Sandeep Sharma needs to complete 100 Indian T20 League wickets.

37:  Runs Rashid Khan needs to complete 1000 T20 runs.

51: Runs Sanju Samson needs to complete 500 runs versus Hyderabad, he will the third batsman to score 500 runs vs Hyderabad in the Indian T20 League after Shane Watson and Virat Kohli.

250: T20 match for Manish Pandey if he takes the field against Rajasthan.

Writer’s pick:

Both teams are evenly poised with not much to choose between them, but Rajasthan will certainly have momentum on their side having won their last encounter comfortably. Hyderabad, meanwhile, find themselves on the opposite end of the confidence spectrum with no wins in their last three games, making Rajasthan favourites to come away with the points.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Money Sharma

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