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IPL-2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad to lock horns with Gujarat Titans in Hyderabad: Suspicious with rain

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Due to heavy rain in Hyderabad, the IPL match between SRH and GT is in doubt. If the match is cancelled, the IPL playoffs expectations will be reversed.

 “A thunderstorm started around 3:45 and went on till about 5 before reducing to a drizzle. It has now stopped raining and the groundsmen are busy draining the water from the covers. Supersoppers in action too.” – this was an update just over 30 minutes ago from Gokul Gopal who’s at the ground. He followed it up with – “Plenty of work to be done, though. Lots of puddles near the boundary ropes, with those areas left uncovered.” And the latest news being “The tyres placed on the covers are coming off now.”

Sunrisers Hyderabad will lock horns with Gujarat Titans at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. Hyderabad hold 4th spot with 14 points and Shubman Gill led Gujarat Titans are placed on 8th position with 11 points.

A seven-day break in a busy schedule like the IPL is a luxury for teams, and Sunrisers Hyderabad are one of only two sides to enjoy that in this edition. “Yeah, it is a bonus to have a week’s break in an IPL tournament; I’ve been involved with SRH for just over a decade now and I think there’s never been a break like that before,” says Sunrisers’ assistant coach Simon Helmot. “It’s nice to refresh…nice to have the time to catch up with friends and family.”

The last time they took the field was on May 8 when openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma put on a brutal display of batting, getting to 167/0 in just 9.4 overs to race to victory against Lucknow Super Giants which gave their net run rate a mighty boost. That victory eliminated Mumbai Indians from the playoffs race and during SRH’s break, two more teams joined MI. Meanwhile, KKR and RR qualified and the former also cemented a spot in the top-two. SRH too have a shot at featuring in Qualifier 1, for which they need to win the next two matches and hope that Rajasthan Royals drop one, which will bring NRR into play.

Can SRH get back to their aggressive best after the seven-day non-action? “I don’t think it changes momentum,” insists Helmot. We’ve had some five-day breaks throughout the tournament, we’re used to having breaks, so I don’t think that’ll change anyway in which we prepare.”

And speaking about aggression, such has been SRH’s blaze in this edition that Hyderabad has seen sell-out crowds, which wasn’t the case in the past seasons. “We remember the first years here at SRH when we were developing a fan base. There may have been some space in the crowd, there may have even been times when there was some support for the opposition as well. But hasn’t that changed?…I’ll say this year has been the most vocal, the nosiest, and the most supporting crowd that I can ever remember,” says Helmot, who calls the crowd their “13th impact player”. And SRH will be eager to reciprocate that support with another victory which will confirm a berth for them in the playoffs.

Their opponents are Gujarat Titans, who just got knocked out from the playoffs race after rain played spoilsport in Ahmedabad. In what has been a lacklustre season for them, the Shubman Gill-led side will be hoping to sign off on a positive note and in the process disrupt the aspirations of the home side. Before the abandoned game, the Titans posted 231 against Chennai Super Kings, riding on Gill and Sai Sudharsan’s hundreds to register their second highest total in the IPL. They need their batters to deliver again but, more than that, they need the bowlers to be on the mark going up against the bulldozing SRH batters who don’t show the opposition any mercy.

After being expensive in his earlier outings, Mohit Sharma redeemed himself with a match-winning 3 for 31 against CSK. The Titans will be hoping for more of that from him and also count on former SRH player Rashid Khan’s experience in these climes. The Titans have also struggled with their middle order, using as many as 11 players from Nos. 4 to 7 this season for only two fifty-plus scores this season, and the lowest average among all teams. Although late, they’ll be keen to make amends and end their campaign with some consolation.

Squads:

Sunrisers Hyderabad Squad: Abhishek Sharma, Travis Head, Nitish Reddy, Heinrich Klaasen(w), Abdul Samad, Shahbaz Ahmed, Sanvir Singh, Pat Cummins(c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, T Natarajan, Umran Malik, Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Phillips, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Anmolpreet Singh, Upendra Yadav, Mayank Markande, Jhatavedh Subramanyan, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Marco Jansen, Akash Maharaj Singh

Gujarat Titans Squad: Shubman Gill(c), Sai Sudharsan, David Miller, Shahrukh Khan, Matthew Wade(w), Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Kartik Tyagi, Sandeep Warrier, Abhinav Manohar, Sharath BR, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Joshua Little, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Spencer Johnson, Azmatullah Omarzai, Manav Suthar, Sushant Mishra

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