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Upbeat SRH meet beleaguered RR
It will be a real test of character for the beleaguered Rajasthan Royals when they face an upbeat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 'Eliminator' of the Pepsi...
It will be a real test of character for the beleaguered Rajasthan Royals when they face an upbeat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 'Eliminator' of the Pepsi Indian Premier League here on Wednesday. Since the ugly revelations of the spot-fixing Scandal followed by the arrests of three of its players, including India international S Sreesanth, cricketing matters have taken a backseat for the champions of the first edition of the IPL. One can expect the Sunrisers to be overwhelming favourites as they don't have to deal with the demons of an ugly controversy that has shaken the cricketing establishment. For Rajasthan Royals and especially their skipper Rahul Dravid, it will be a challenge to go out in the field shedding inhibitions and perform to the best of their abilities. For the Royals and their loyal band of supporters, a good performance at least can help them deflect the unwanted attention that is on them for the time being. But there is no denying the fact that the team is under immense pressure. The two foundations of a good team: self belief and confidence in each other's abilities has been hit badly after the controversy. The Sunrisers, on the other hand, have been an unit that largely relied on its bowlers, including world's No 1 fast bowler Dale Steyn (18 wickets), leggie Amit Mishra (20) and all-rounder Thisara Perera (19 wickets and 222 runs). Mishra, with good support from young leggie Karan Sharma, has been brilliant in the middle overs. Not only has Mishra been successful in stemming the flow of runs but also provided lot of breakthroughs with classical leg breaks and googlies. Batting has been a real concern for the Sunrisers as none of their willow-wielders have been able to even tally a total of 300-runs in the league stage. Parthiv Patel (293 runs) has been their top-scorer but has only managed one half-century. Shikhar Dhawan has made a decent comeback from injury with three 50's in nine games with a total of 278 runs but one expects more from the talented left-hander. That he will be playing at the Feroze Shah Kotla -- a ground that he knows like the back of his palm - would surely give him some confidence. Thisara and Darren Sammy's role has been vital as their all-round abilities provide the side with necessary balance.