Sanju Samson’s Team Rajasthan lock horns with Team Hyderabad who are now under the new leadership of Kane Williamson, on Sunday, May 2 at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium.

The two teams have been struggling for results this season and acquire the bottom two spots in the 2021 Indian T20 League standings. With two wins from six matches, Rajasthan sit 7th while Hyderabad are placed 8th after winning a solitary match in six outings.

In what could be termed as an important match for both teams, there is very little to separate on the grounds of their current form.

Rajasthan vs Hyderabad probable playing XI

With not many options to choose from as far as their foreign contingent is concerned, Rajasthan are expected to stick with the same team that took on Mumbai. Yashasvi Jaiswal is certain to keep his place meaning that Manan Vora will have to find a place on the bench. Furthermore, if the situation demands, they might slot David Miller up in the order in order to get him more playing time.

Rajasthan predicted XI: Sanju Samson (captain/wicket-keeper), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, David Miller, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Chetan Sakariya, Jaydev Unadkat, Mustafizur Rahman

Hyderabad, on the other hand, are still sweating on the return of their star pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. If fit, the veteran bowler is rightly expected to get into the playing XI right away. Jagadeesha Suchita was extremely expensive last time out and Hyderabad may look to replace him against Rajasthan.

Hyderabad predicted XI: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (captain), Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Rashid Khan, Jagadeesha Suchith/Abhishek Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma/Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Rajasthan vs Hyderabad prediction: Who will win?

If history is anything to go by, there is absolutely nothing to separate these two teams as both have won two games each in their last four encounters. Hyderabad, however, hold the edge in their head-to-head count with Rajasthan, winning seven of their 13 encounters. 

Their form at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium is a further boost given that they have won six of their nine games at the venue compared to Rajasthan’s four wins in 10 matches. Judging by their record, it is safe to say that Hyderabad enter the tie as favourites. 

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Top Tip: Best batsmen

Rajasthan are certain to rely much on their captain Sanju Samson against Hyderabad for a couple of reason. First being his current form and second being his returns against Hyderabad. In a total of 16 innings against the one-time winners, the 26-year-old has scored 485 runs at an average of 40.41.

For Hyderabad, while Williamson’s form is indeed a worry, one needs to keep a close eye on David Warner. With the burden of captaincy no longer on his shoulders, he will be keen on adding more runs to his tally of 389 runs against Rajasthan. This has come at an average of 32.41 and includes three half-centuries. 

Top Tip: Best bowlers

Jaydev Unadkat may have failed to get wickets at will, but he has indeed loved bowling against Hyderabad, to say the least. In a total of 10 innings, the pacer has picked 14 wickets, but that has come at a cost of a hefty economy of 8.41. Mayank Markande is another bowler who has taken wickets against Hyderabad, but the uncertainty about his selection remains a gamble.

Hyderabad, on their part, are going to rely much on Rashid Khan given that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is still a doubt. Bhuvneshwar has picked 12 wickets in 11 innings against Rajasthan, and while Rashid hasn’t had this sort of impact, he has managed to restrict Rajasthan by bowling at an economy of just 6.38.

Top Tips: All-rounder and wicket-keeper

Unlike Hyderabad, Rajasthan do have a couple of all-rounders to choose from in Rahul Tewatia and Chris Morris. Amongst the two, the latter remains the most favourable and the safest bet to go with. Considering his current form, Morris is expected to be amongst the wickets and can also churn out a few valuable runs as well.

With Smaju Samson acquiring the batting position, Jonny Bairstow remains the only wicket-keeper to choose from. With the pitch favouring batsmen more, expect the English opener to score big.

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Featured photo: AFP / Money Sharma