IPL 2018: Wily SRH bowling braces for MI batting might

Rajasthan team

Rajasthan team

However, it must be remembered that David Warner contributed 1500 runs in both the tournaments and was also a very inspirational captain who transformed an ordinary team into an nearly invincible squad of today.

Rahane in his post-match conference rued lack of partnership: "I think first of all, we thought on this wicket, 150-160 would've been an ideal total because the ball was doing a bit and the medium pacers had good help on this wicket". Then spin twins Shakib Al Hasan and Rashid Khan applied the brakes in the middle overs, finishing with combined figures of 3 for 46 off eight overs to derail Royals. The lanky Billy Stanlake was impressive with his express pace. Sunrisers' batsmen spent some time in the nets, while the bowlers were involved in grueling drills of fielding and catching practice throughout the evening. He trusted his specialised bowlers to do the job which was evident from not going to any part-timer despite the available options.

Dhawan was the aggressor of the two batsmen as he hit 13 fours and a six to carry his bat through the innings, while Williamson had three fours and a six to take Sunrisers home. And the southpaw did that with precision. With Williamson, he guided his side to victory. While Dhawan has been in sensational form, SRH will need Williamson to get out of the slump that he is in if they are to have a solid season this time around. Even though it will be a far more explosive side if Lewis and Ishan Kishan open the batting with Rohit Sharma following at No. 3, expect Lewis to show us what the hype was really about.

MI on the other hand played 37 good overs of T20 cricket only to be blown away by a Dwayne Bravo special in their opening fixture. After having controlled the game for the major portion of the game, they were undone by Dwayne Bravo's blitzkrieg in the end. That's why in the first half the team that bats well and gets scores close to 200 will win. Jofra Archer could be another excellent differential - his death bowling skills are supreme, and will exploit a shaky Sunrisers lower order. But the worrying factor for Rohit is his main bowlers Mustafizur Rahman and Mitchell McClenaghan who were taken to the cleaners. Left-arm slow orthodox Krunal is one of the most experienced spinners in the squad while fellow left-arm Anukul Roy - one of the stars of the U-19 World Cup winning squad - is expected to play a key role along with young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar. But for the hosts, their strength lies in their strong bowling unit. Established batsmen like skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes and RA Tripathi just kept finding the fielders' hands rather than the gaps whenever they tried to be aggressive while Shikhar Dhawan made a mockery of their low total by scoring a handsome 78 not out when the Sunrisers batted. He conceded 30 runs in the first match and will hope to improve on this aspect in the next game.

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