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Match Preview – Sunrisers vs RCB, IPL 2021, 6th Match

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Whether Sunrisers, who are searching for their first points, can fit Williamson in will be worthing watching out for

Big Picture

It’s been a good beginning for the Royal Challengers Bangalore to IPL 2021, winning a hard-fought encounter against defending champions Mumbai Indians on the opening day. They looked like they had the chase well in hand, before letting it slip away and needing AB de Villiers to haul it in for them. In that respect, things haven’t quite changed for the Royal Challengers, and you suspect de Villiers will still be the man they will look to as saviour, especially given the form he showed against one of the IPL’s most formidable bowling sides.

The team that vies with Mumbai Indians for the title of the best bowling side are the Sunrisers Hyderabad, but their bowling was a bit off the boil in their opening encounter against the Kolkata Knight Riders, which ended in a 10-run defeat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, fresh off a star turn in India’s white-ball series against England, was uncharacteristically expensive, going for 45 runs in four overs and only picking up a wicket with the final ball of the innings.

The conditions at Chepauk have traditionally favoured spinners. In the first two games at the venue in IPL 2021 though, that’s been uneven. The ball was sticking in the surface for the opening match, but the batsmen seemed to have an easier time of it in the second game. However, what remained consistent was that the top-notch T20 bowlers continued to be tough to face, such as Rashid Khan and Jasprit Bumrah. You suspect that if a bowling group that has reasonable pedigree fires cohesively, the surface could still pose a challenge to the batsmen.

In the news

The Royal Challengers are likely to welcome back Devdutt Padikkal in the playing XI. The 20-year-old left-handed opener was among their success stories in IPL 2020, and was in great form in domestic cricket before this edition too. Laid low by Covid-19, he had rejoined the team before the first game but was still advised rest for the first match. Padikkal’s return will mean Washington Sundar no longer has to play the makeshift opener’s role. Who will sit out for Padikkal will be interesting – with the choices appearing to be between Rajat Padiar and Shahbaz Ahmed. Given they are likely to have seven bowling options without Ahmed, he might be the one to sit out.

The Sunrisers might also be able to have Kane Williamson available for selection, although fitting him into the XI is another issue. Williamson was pronounced not ‘match fit’ by coach Trevor Bayliss, which was why he missed out in the first game. But with Jonny Bairstow being the Sunrisers’ best batsman in the opening match – coming on the heels of a Man of the Series show against India in the T20I series – it’s unlikely that he will have to make way. Rashid Khan is of course undroppable, and Mohammad Nabi’s bowling might be of vital importance in Chennai.

The Sunrisers might also want to consider whether to continue with Wriddhiman Saha as the keeper and opener or bring in a young batsman who can bat in the middle order instead among Priyam Garg, Virat Singh and Abhishek Sharma. After all, in Bairstow, they have someone who can open and keep.

Likely XIs

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Virat Kohli (capt), 2 Devdutt Padikkal, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Daniel Christian, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 5 Vijay Shankar, 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 T Natarajan

Strategy punt

Among the Royal Challengers bowlers, the ones David Warner finds toughest to score off are Washington Sundar – and Glenn Maxwell. Against both offspinners, Warner’s run-rate hovers at around seven, but against the other bowlers the Royal Challengers have, Warner is destructive. Sundar already has an acknowledged expertise at bowling in the powerplay, while Maxwell was used upfront too on occasion last year for the Kings XI Punjab. The Royal Challengers may not want to have offspin from both ends to start with, but at least one of the two could be given the new ball to try and rein Warner in.

The Sunrisers’ trump card remains Rashid Khan, and they might be best served by using him in the middle, particularly if Maxwell and de Villiers are batting next to each other. Of all bowlers the Sunrisers have, only Rashid has had some measure of control against de Villiers, while he has bossed Maxwell, conceding less than a run a ball against him. He has been terrific against Kohli and Padikkal too, but if the pacers can do the job upfront for the Sunrisers, it leaves Rashid free to control the middle overs.

Stats that matter

  • Virat Kohli is all-time leading run-getter in IPL history, while David Warner sits fourth. However, if you compare only the years in which both played, Warner has an edge on Kohli. In the years both have played the IPL, Warner has 5257 runs at an average of 42.39 and a strike rate of 141.46. Kohli, who has played 166 games to Warner’s 143 in those years, has 5216 runs at 39.21 and a strike rate of 130.82.
  • Since Rashid Khan began playing in the IPL, in 2017, no bowler has a better economy rate than his 6.24 in the competition, even when setting a limit as low as 30 balls bowled. The only one who compares in terms of having an economy of less than seven with more than 50 wickets is, expectedly, Jasprit Bumrah, who has conceded runs at 6.90, and has taken 85 wickets to Rashid’s 77.

Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo



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England vs New Zealand 2021

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England fast bowler may face surgery as ECB plan next steps of recovery

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of England’s two-Test series against New Zealand, starting at Lord’s on June 2, and may face surgery on his troublesome right elbow after failing to come through this week’s return to first-class action.

Archer, who was withdrawn from this year’s IPL prior to its postponement earlier this month, had undergone a series of cortisone injections to enable him to get through the T20I leg of England’s white-ball tour of India in March.



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Recent Match Report – Kent vs Sussex Group 3 2021

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A whole lot of not a lot at Hove, but it’s an improvement on this time last year

Sussex 256 (van Zyl 52; Quinn 4-54, Gilchrist 3-51, Stevens 3-64) drew with Kent 145 (Leaning 63, Robinson 3-29, Garton 3-65) and 387 for 4 dec (Leaning 127*, Robinson 85, Crawley 85)

A match that had once seemed likely to end in a Sussex victory with Jofra Archer displaying his fitness for Test cricket ended in the most sclerotic of draws with Archer not even on the field. The first of these outcomes had always seemed likely once Kent had survived a short session on Saturday, and the second was probable once the England bowler’s sore elbow had prevented him bowling that same evening.

Despite their lowly positions in Group C these sides never appeared to contemplate the possibility of setting up a game and the 43 overs we saw this afternoon might not be numbered among the most gripping of the season. Other correspondents could even judge them balls-achingly tedious.

But Jack Leaning will take a different view. The former Yorkshire batsman notched only his second first-class century since 2017 and will approach Thursday’s game against Glamorgan in a more confident mood. Likewise, from their different perspectives, Tom Clark, who took his maiden first-class wicket, and Tawanda Muyeye, who batted half an hour for 12 not out on his debut. A drop of red ink is as comforting as a duvet to a young professional making his way. Every solid defensive shot is a moment.

And if these slightly aimless sessions were still a disappointment we could scourge no one but ourselves. On Friday, when a 104-over day had heaved itself beyond seven o’clock, we little thought how fortunate we were to see any cricket at all, let alone to be doing so when millions could not.

Zak Crawley was batting on that second evening, so such ingratitude required public abasement. But our penance, such as it might have been, was useless. The following evening, when only 24 overs were possible, Crawley was dismissed by the excellent Jack Carson and even that moment was given the elbow by Archer’s inaction, forced or otherwise.

Thus to Sunday with the Channel turquoise in its shallows but gravely blue farther out to sea. A pleasant dawn was replaced by an unlucky bag of showers, some of them slight, others heavy with Anabaptist doom. While David Millns and Graham Lloyd made one of their inspections the clouds to the west were grey as an undertaker’s work-suit; to the east they were blue as one of Bryan Ferry’s more exotic two-piece numbers. Birds gathered ravenously on the white pyramidal roofs of the hospitality suites. By the way, the gulls in Hove have clearly been watching Alfred Hitchcock movies; I’ve seen smaller turkeys. The white thugs waited for scraps; we waited for cricket.



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Recent Match Report – Glamorgan vs Yorkshire Group 3 2021

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Only 13 overs possible on final day but Glamorgan batter impresses

Glamorgan 149 (Brook 3-13, Patterson 3-27) and 164 for 4 (Carlson 88*, Lloyd 40) drew with Yorkshire 230 (Root 99, Patterson 47*, Neser 5-39)

Persistent rain prevented a positive result in the LV=Insurance County Championship match between Glamorgan and Yorkshire in Cardiff with only 13 overs possible on the final day, but there was enough time for Kiran Carlson to continue his impressive season with his sixth fifty-plus score of this campaign.

The match was set up for an exciting finish at the close of day three with Glamorgan 27 runs in front with seven first innings wickets in hand. The weather meant that the players only made it into the middle at 4:15pm and Glamorgan successfully saw out a tricky session to secure the draw.

It was a frustrating experience in the hours before they started with the sun shining just long enough for some hope to emerge only for the rain to reappear to send the groundsmen back to their hut.

A brilliant 99 from England captain Joe Root on day three had given Yorkshire hope of pushing for a win but first rain and then Carlson prevented that from happening. Carlson finished the day on 88 not out with Glamorgan 164 for 4.

When play did get started Yorkshire were convinced they had David Lloyd caught in the slips in the first over but it was off his thigh pad rather than his bat. As it was, they had Lloyd without adding to his overnight score when he was trapped lbw by Ben Coad. That was the only wicket to fall before the players shook hands.

Carlson has been Glamorgan’s most consistent batsman in this Championship campaign, and his runs meant that any chances of a Yorkshire win evaporated. Such was Carlson’s brilliance, had Glamorgan had more time, they might even have set up a victory chance of their own. Carlson now has four fifties and two hundreds this season as his potential has begun to be realised.

The draw gives Yorkshire 12 points, sending them to the top of Group 3 of the Championship, five points ahead of Lancashire who did not play in this round of matches.



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