IPL 2013 Eliminator: Pitch Factor Makes Royals Favorite against Sunrisers

Sunrisers Hyderabad play their first IPL semifinal against Rajasthan Royals who are playing their second semifinal since they won in 2008. Both had 20 points at league stage of 2013 edition and one at home to have 1 win each as Head-to-Head record. Overall while Sunrisers have been thriving on bowling, Rajasthan Royals have been dependent on some key members and overall excelled in batting and bowling both. Overall in Away matches Sunrisers performed better than Royals with a win more, but they need bowler-friendly pitch to win, and if Kotla behaves as it did in the Playoff match, Royals have an edge in the battle of equals.

Team Comparison
Both the teams match each other with 10 wins, and have won a match each against each other too, both won comfortably at home. Rajsthan won by 8 wickets while Sunrisers won by 23 runs. Overall Sunrisers had an uncertain captaincy issue which saw them using Sangakkara and Cameron White at head. Royals have their own issue of getting out of the spot-fixing scandal mentally although Dravid as captain has been a revelation this season and probably the best captain of the season.

Team Performances in 2013 RR SH
Captain/s Dravid Sangakkara (9), White (7)
Matches Played 16 16
Won/Lost 10/6 10/6
Won/Lost (Away) 2/6 3/5
Won/Lost (Home) 8/0 7/1
Points 20 20
NRR +0.322 +0.003

Batting Comparison
Sunrisers are no match to any team in batting, while Royals have been one of the best batting units. They have scored 7 150 plus totals and won most of them, while Sunrisers lost 3 of the 4 matches where they scored 150 or more. Overall when batsmen fail and score low, Sunrisers bowlers have come to party. Strange but true. Royals on the other hand have seen batsmen and bowlers work in tandem, specially at home.
RR Team Performance
SH Team Performance

Batting Performances RR SH
150+ Total 7 4
100/50s 1/11 0/8
100+ Partnerships 1 0
50+ Partnerships 13 6
6s/4s 60/231 48/184
Highest Score 185/4 178/3
Lowest Score 113/9 (vs SH) 119/8

Bowling Comparison
While Sunrisers are the best bowling unit of the tournament, Royals can come close second. Still Stunrisers bowlers have impressed even in away matches while the same cannot be said about Royals bowlers.

Bowling Performances RR SH
Wickets Taken 94 104
10+ Wkts Taken (Players) 4 5
Below 7 Economoy (20 ov) 4 Bowlers 3 bowlers

Man-to-Man Comparison
Faulkner and Watson have been the key players for Royals, while Captain Dravid and Rahane has been playing good cricket. For Sunrisers Amit Mishra and Steyn has been the key players who with the help of Shikhar Dhawan, Sammy, Perera and Parthiv Patel have earned victories for the team. Both the teams have the best of players from uncapped group. Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Trivedi, Hanuma Vihari, Karan Sharma, Ashish Reddy are the names people will remember even after IPL.

Individual Performances RR SH
Best Batsmen (200+ runs) 513 (Watson) 293 (Parthiv)
Most Sixes (10+) 22 (Watson) 13 (Perera)
Most 4s (40+) 54 (Dravid) 37 (Patel)
Most Wickets (10+) 26 (Faulkner) 22 (Mishra)
Best Economoy (Below 6.5) 6.58 (Faulkner) 5.65 (Steyn)

Fielding Comparison
Both have changed wicketkeepers and fielding has been average for both.

Fielding Records RR SH
Catches 46 62
Run Outs 9 10
Wicketkeepers 3 2
Dismissals 16 12

Verdict
Bowlers give Sunrisers the edge but to win they need old sluggish Kotla pitch, not the one on which Playoff 1 was played between CSK and MI.
Overall team composition suitable to batsmen-friendly pitches and Faulkner and Watson bowling well anywhere gives Rajasthan Royals the edge.
Overall if pitch behaves like what it was yesterday, it will be Royals celebrating. But if the pitch shows old glimpses of infamous Kotla pitch, Sunrisers will win hands down.

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