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Other SportsIPL 2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bengaluru - preview, expected line-ups,...

IPL 2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bengaluru – preview, expected line-ups, free bets and offers

The State of Play

If there is one team the struggling Royal Challengers Bengaluru would like to avoid right now in IPL 2024 it is Sunrisers Hyderabad.

But the teams come face to face tomorrow with Sunrisers looking to maintain their blistering form that has seen them rise up the table into third place.

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The teams met in the reverse fixture nine days ago with Travis Head smashing a 41-ball 102 as Sunrisers made 287 for three to break their own record for the highest total in IPL history.

RCB’s reply was impressive as they made 262 for seven but they still fell well short.

Sunrisers followed up that win with another hugely impressive performance, Head making a blistering 89 as they saw off the Delhi Capitals by 67 runs.

The Australia international said afterwards: “Things have been coming together after a couple of years. It’s [down to] hard work but also playing a lot of T20s. Nice to be batting high up at the batting order too.”

Although Head and opening partner Abhishek Sharma stole the headlines, left-arm bowler Thangarasu Natarajan was equally as important with four for 19 from his four overs to restrict the Capitals’ response.

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While the Sunrisers are flying, the same cannot be said for the rock-bottom Royal Challengers, who are mired in a dismal run of form.

Faf du Plessis’ side have lost their last six games and seven of eight overall. That record ought to have been improved last time out with RCB well set to beat the Kolkata Knight Riders only for a batting collapse to result in a one-run defeat.

Du Plessis admitted their poor form had resulted in a lack of clear thinking.

The South African said: “I felt like you could see just towards the end there, there was perhaps a little bit of, you know, when you haven’t won games in a while, just that clarity [missing].

“That’s what I talk about those little moments where if you’re winning games and you get the confidence of how to get your team across the line, then your decision making is a little bit clearer in that space in the middle.”

One man who has continued to thrive despite RCB’s collective woes is former India captain Virat Kohl, who still leads the race for the Orange Cap with 379 runs to his name.

Expected line-ups

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Sharma, Head, Klaasen (wk), Markram, Samad, Ahmed, Cummins (c), Kumar, Unadkat, Natarajan, Reddy

Royal Challengers Bengaluru: Kohli, Du Plessis (c), Jacks, Patidar, Green, Prabhudessai, Karthik (wk), Sharma, Siraj, Ferguson, Dayal

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the IPL to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Thursday’s match will be shown on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.50pm BST.

In India, the games can be streamed on the Jio Cinema app and website. They are also available across the Star Sports Network.

Prediction

On paper, the RCB line-up looks strong but they are clearly a team lacking confidence, as evidenced in their last game.

They are particularly struggling with the ball with their top wicket-taker Yash Dayal standing 24th in the overall list with just seven victims.

The thought of facing Head and Co will be giving the Royal Challengers nightmares.

The momentum is firmly with the home side so we are going for a Sunrisers win, potentially with plenty to spare, particularly if Kohli suffers a rare failure at the top of the order.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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