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We’re here at Match no. 45, and it will be Rajasthan Royals’ last home game, and they would be looking to cap it off on a high. But the situation is not ideal for them. Their spearhead Jofra Archer is back in England for international duties, and so is a struggling Ben Stokes. This might have a psychological impact on them, but the overseas reserves that they have are good enough too. As for their opponents, SRH, the opening pair has been separated with the departure of Jonny Bairstow, who is back in England as well. But they will be bolstered by the return of their skipper Kane Williamson.
Weather Conditions: There has been an intense heat wave in Jaipur in the last few days, with the temperatures going as high as 42 degrees Celsius. It might feel like a pressure cooker in the middle for the players.
Pitch Report: With so much heat pelting down on to the pitch, the surface should be quite dry.
Probable Playing XIs:
RR – 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Sanju Samson (Wk), 3 Steven Smith (C), 4 Rahul Tripathi, 5 Ashton Turner/Liam Livingstone, 6 Stuart Binny, 7 Riyan Parag, 8 Shreyas Gopal, 9 Dhawal Kulkarni/Mahipal Lomror , 10 Varun Aaron, 11 Oshane Thomas
SRH – 1 Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), 2 David Warner, 3 Kane Williamson (C) , 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Vijay Shankar, 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Yusuf Pathan/Deepak Hooda , 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Khaleel Ahmed, 11 Sandeep Sharma/Basil Thampi
With the departures of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes, chances have opened up for the 3 other overseas players in Rajasthan’s squad, namely Livingstone, Turner and Sodhi. However it seems only 1 of Livingstone and Turner might be picked, with the former having greater chances. Sodhi could be left out looking at the fact that Rajasthan already have 2 leg-spinners in Gopal and Parag and potentially a part time leg-spin from Livingstone. A struggling Jaydev Unadkat might be shown the way out finally and Kulkarni or the local boy Lomror could be picked. For SRH, Saha could be preferred over Goswami as a replacement wicket keeper for Bairstow and could be asked to open alongside Warner.
Winner prediction: Sunrisers Hyderabad