Another battle of two new captains panned out, but the cannier one walked away with glee. Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad walked all over Ajinkya Rahane’s Rajasthan Royals in Hyderabad to get the ball rolling with aplomb.
While Royals started positively in the first 10 overs, Hyderabad dominated the rest of the match and now the Royals have a lot of thinking to do.
We take a look at the reasons why Rajasthan Royals went down in an almost one-sided affair.
1. Bad start to the innings
D’Arcy Short came into the match with a lot of reputation but he took off for a risky single and was run out by Sunrisers Hyderabad’s skipper right at the outset to push the visitors back.
Ajinkya Rahane never got going and his 13-ball innings could fetch only 13 runs which did not do any good for his side. Lack of an explosive start impeded Royals in the beginning and this has to be one of the reasons.
2. Frequent loss of wickets
Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi stitched a good partnership together, but once Tripathi fell, Royals slipped and could never recover from the fall.
The batsmen kept coming in, kept going out, the big-ticket signings in Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes could not stamp their authority over the game and this hurt the Royals.
On a pitch which was good for stroke play, lack of partnerships harmed Royals and prevented them from getting a sprint in the back end of the innings.
3. Wayward bowling from the bowlers
Although Jaydev Unadkat got the first wicket of Wriddhiman Saha, Dhawal Kulkarni was wayward at the other hand and this allowed Dhawan and Williamson to stroke plenty of boundaries which broke the back of the chase right at the outset.
Also, Gowtham, Stokes, and Shreyas Gopal were not on point and this hurt Rajasthan Royals’ chance to put up a fight.
4. Lack of any x-factor in the bowling attack
Despite getting a lot of big-ticket signings, there was always a concern about the bowling attack and this showed in the very first match.
While Ben Stokes and Ben Laughlin are good enough bowlers, they can only pick up wickets when the batsmen look to go after them. In a chase of 126, when the bowlers have to make the move, Rajasthan Royals missed a bowler with extra pace to rush the batsmen and get amongst the wickets.
5. Rahane’s costly drop of Shikhar Dhawan
Rajasthan Royals needed early wickets to stay in the contest and they had one easy chance to get rid of Shikhar Dhawan.
Dhawal Kulkarni bowled a length ball angled on off, Dhawan looked to cut it, got an outside edge and the ball flew to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip who grassed a proper sitter.
This came as a huge jolt for the visitors as Dhawan dominated proceedings right through the match and remained unbeaten on 77.
Also, there were few fielding lapses along the way which never allowed the visitors to get a foothold in the proceedings at any stage.