Match Preview – Royals vs Sunrisers, IPL 2021, 28th Match


Warner could make way for one of Roy or Holder as Sunrisers look to rejig personnel in search of elusive win

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Desperate times reflect in radical measures. The Sunrisers Hyderabad replacing David Warner with Kane Williamson as captain might seem like one, but the move isn’t bereft of precedent or context. The Kolkata Knight Riders made a similar switch last year. This announcement, however, comes in the wake of Warner’s public owning up of “responsibility” for the team’s fifth defeat in six games, and a critique of a “harsh” selection call a game earlier.

The build-up to their clash on Sunday against the Rajasthan Royals remains wrapped in a degree of uncertainty. The franchise has made it clear that a change in their overseas combination for the game is imminent.

Like their opponent, the Royals, who have just one win more than the Sunrisers, are in pursuit of a turnaround. A gradual depletion of their overseas contingent, admitted Royals captain Sanju Samson after their seven-wicket defeat on Thursday, has been “tough” to contend with. The want of end-overs impetus has also hurt their campaign this season.

Recurrent erosion of momentum at the death, therefore, might warrant a review of their batting order, most notably the role of Shivam Dube. At No. 4, Dube’s strike rate has hovered between 29 and 113 in four innings this year, his 31-ball 35 playing a part in stalling the Royals to just 171 despite brisk, substantial knocks by the top three in the previous game. A promotion for David Miller to that position could translate into better use of quick-scoring weaponry available at their disposal.