JAIPUR: Rajasthan Royals will have a tough task in protecting their citadel on Saturday, when Sunrisers Hyderabad come calling. With a certain Dale Steyn in their arsenal, the team from Hyderabad will be out to severely test the Royals’ all-win record at home so far.
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Steyn is not the only rival the Royals would be worried about at Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Saturday. Shikhar Dhawan is back and the opener is quite hungry too.
Moreover, the SMS is one of his favourite venues and he would be relishing to have a go on this wicket. There are Kumar Sangakkara, the regular skipper, and Thisara Perera too.
The Sri Lankan duo would be looking to make a statement, having missed the match against Chennai Super Kings due to a situation beyond their control. “We are not really thinking about individual players,” Royals wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik said on eve of the match.
“We are only concerned about our plans and their execution.” Yagnik was a part of that Rajasthan team in the Irani Trophy tie of 2011, in which Rest of India’s Dhawan had plundered 177 and 155 in the two innings.
Incidentally, Yagnik was a hero for the Royals last year, when he had smashed Steyn for a boundary to salvage pride from a near hopeless situation. Steyn was with the now-defunct Deccan Chargers then.
“That’s just a small bit of confidence that I’ll carry into tomorrow’s match,” Yagnik said. “It’s a new game and we will play it that way.” Royals have to start afresh after the heartbreaking loss to Chennai Super Kings, when 185 did not prove enough.
Clearly, they lacked a bowler who could step up to do the job for them. That is one area that skipper Rahul Dravid would be sorely missing. He has bowlers to take wickets, but might have to delve deep to find one who will be able to check the flow of runs.