Home Cricket Match Preview – SRH vs GT 66th Match, IPL

Match Preview – SRH vs GT 66th Match, IPL

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Match details

Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Gujarat Titans
Hyderabad, 7.30pm IST (2pm GMT)

Big picture: All eyes on Travishek once again

In the heated race for the playoffs in which five teams – CSK, SRH, DC, RCB and LSG – are still fighting it out for the remaining two spots, SRH are probably best placed to book a berth. One because they are the only team out of those five with two games in hand, and two, they will play both games in their own den. There’s also a third: the two remaining opponents for SRH are two of the bottom three teams on the points table – Gujarat Titans and Punjab Kings – which tilts the odds further in favour of SRH.

The first of those will be GT, who were knocked out of the playoffs race after a washout in Ahmedabad, where the captains waited for the duration of an entire T20 game to finally share points.

SRH will return to the field after a good eight days, having smashed LSG by chasing down 166 even before the halfway mark. They will be high on confidence and spirits, re-energised after a break, and will hope GT haven’t saved their best for their last league game.

A lot of the contrast between SRH and GT this season is shown by how they have gone about hitting their sixes so far. Compared to the 146 sixes by SRH this IPL, the most, GT rank at the bottom, with just 67, which is just one more than how many Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma have slammed put together. The story is similar across the three phases of the game, and it will come down to how much GT can restrict the SRH top order to in the powerplay.

Form guide

Sunrisers Hyderabad WLWLL (last five matches, most recent first)
Gujarat Titans WLLLW

Previous meeting

It was a month and a half ago when the tournament was only a week old that GT had restricted SRH to just 162 in Ahmedabad and chased it down rather easily, thanks to their top four. SRH’s batters have pretty much changed the definition of T20 batting since then.

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Barring a collapse of sorts, like against Mumbai Indians when they had to bring in another batter in place of Abhishek Sharma, SRH are likely to swap a frontline batter for a bowler such as T Natarajan, Umran Malik or Jaydev Unadkat.

Probable XII: 1 Abhishek Sharma, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Nitish Kumar Reddy, 5 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 6 Marco Jansen/Glenn Phillips, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Shahbaz Ahmed, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 T Natarajan, 12 Umran Malik/Jaydev Unadkat

Gujarat Titans
GT have tried the most players (23) this season while trying to find their best combination and ended their campaign without possibly getting there. This could be a chance for them to give some of less-tried players more chances, such as Gurnoor Brar, Manav Suthar and BR Sharath.

Likely XII: 1 Shubman Gill (capt), 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 B Sai Sudharsan, 4 M Shahrukh Khan, 5 David Miller, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mohit Sharma, 10 Noor Ahmad, 11 Josh Little/Azmatullah Omarzai, 12 R Sai Kishore/Sandeep Warrier

In the spotlight: Vijayakanth Viyaskanth and Shubman Gill

SRH gave wristspinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth his first game last week in which he gave away just 27 runs in his four overs. He came into this season as Wanindu Hasaranga’s replacement and even though those are massive shoes to fill, another promising outing for Viyaskanth on Thursday will prove that his economy rate of 5.43 for MI Emirates in the ILT20 this year was not a one-off.

Shubman Gill‘s strike rate dipped from 157.80 in IPL 2023 to 147.40 this IPL in a season when more runs and more sixes are being hit than never before. He may have done that to shoulder more responsibility as captain, which often happens in the IPL, but with the T20 World Cup coming up, in which he is among the traveling reserves, Gill would want to sign off this IPL with a bang.

Stats that matter

  • Abhishek Sharma has never been dismissed by Umesh Yadav, just once by Mohit Sharma and has a dominant record against Rashid Khan: 63 off 30 balls with just one dismissal.
  • Mayank Agarwal doesn’t enjoy a great head to head against Umesh: 42 runs off 41 balls with two dismissals
  • The hard-hitting David Miller has been kept quiet in T20s by Pat Cummins with a record of 38 runs off 46 balls with two dismissals.
  • It will be interesting to see how Shubman Gill takes on the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, having been dismissed three times by him 10 innings to score just 57 runs off 56 balls
  • Wriddhiman Saha needs 67 and Miller another 76 runs to reach 3000 IPL runs each.
  • Bhuvneshwar is just one scalp away from 300 wickets in T20s. He will be the first Indian fast bowler to get there as the only Indians ahead of him are Yuzvendra Chahal, Piyush Chawla and R Ashwin.
  • Pitch and conditions

    Barring the last game, in which it looked like SRH could have even chased down 300, according to KL Rahul, there has been just one game in Hyderabad where neither team scored 200. It means another run-fest awaits us on Thursday evening, especially if SRH bat first, because it has been the most high-scoring ground this season. It will be hot, humid and cloudy and there could be some rain too, but not enough to spoil the party again.

    Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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