IPL 2014 Match 4 Preview: Sunrisers Set to Dominate Royals

The underdogs of 2013 reached the semifinal, surprising many big teams and the analysts. Despite having stars in team, both showed the importance of team game and utilising local resources. For Sunrisers Captaincy was troubled patch, while Royals had one of the best captain. In their first appearance in IPL, Sunrisers reached the semifinal and finished 4th below Rajasthan Royals who made only their second semifinal entry after a lull of 4 editions. More or less in 2014 both have their core team intact, and the captains changed. Sunrisers Hyderabad look more balanced though, and that gives them an edge over Royals in their first match of IPL 7 edition.

Indian Premier League 2014 Schedule
Comparison of Royals and Sunrisers before IPL 2013 Eliminator

History: RR 2, SH 1
Sunrisers met Rajasthan Royals thrice in their opening year of IPL 2013. Both won at home and then RR won the eliminator too, although failed to win the qualifier for finals later.

    RR won by 8 wickets, MOM: Faulkner
    SRH won by 23 runs, MOM: Amit Mishra
    RR def SH by 4 wkts, MOM: Brad Hodge

Team Comparison
Rajasthan Royals retained 5 of their players from last edition, while Sunrisers retained only two, yet they got almost all key players in fresh auction, except allrounder Perera. In addition Sunrisers have got the dangerous T20 openers of Australia in David Warner and Aaron Finch. They have strengthened their bowling too adding Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rasool, Irfan Pathan and Henriques. The key bowlers Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma and Karn Sharma remain with the team, besides the dangerous allrounder Sammy. Anirudha and Naman Ojha may find it the best team to exhibit their talent.

Rajasthan Royals showed their faith in five players as they retained Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny. Besides them they managed to buy back their key performers Brad Hodge, Kevon Cooper, and Pravin Tambe. Inclusion of Abhishek Nayar, Rajat Bhati, Steven Smith makes them an interesting side overall.

Although Shane Watson and Faulkner can change any game, specially Faulkner has taken 5 wicket haul twice against Sunrisers. Still with the overall better team balance, and inclusions of batsmen that can score at a T20 pace, Sunrisers look a formidable team, and a winner in their opening match of IPL 2014.

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