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Three ways for SRH to beat GT

The Gujarat Titans take on Sunrisers Hyderabad n a top-of-the-table clash on Tuesday at Wankhede Stadium. Both teams are favourites for a playoffs spot at the very least, if not among the top two teams in line to win the tournament. After starting their season with two successive losses, a resurgent SRH have found their stride in a dramatic way and won five matches convincingly on the trot. GT have been the team to beat this season, and so far only one team succeeded in seven matches – SRH themselves.

1. Subdue Hardik Pandya

The GT skipper has been in the form of his life over the past month, with IPL captaincy turning out to be his elixir. He has promoted himself up the order, usually to three or four depending on the status of the innings and has bowled his full quota of four overs before coming down with a groin injury. In the game he missed against CSK, the lower middle order discovered extraordinary resilience and David Miller pulled off a heist. Hardik is currently the highest run-scorer for GT, with 295 runs from six innings and he averages 73 while striking at 136. He’s also the fourth in line for the Orange Cap, behind the indomitable Jos Buttler, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, while also having played two less innings less than each of the top three. While GT’s batting line-up doesn’t include superstars, different players have come good fort hem under different situations – Shubman Gill, Abhinav Manohar, David Miller and Rahul Tewatia have all produced match-winning knocks on different occasions.

2. SRH should watch out for Rashid Khan

The superstar Afghan spinner has not taken as many wickets as he would’ve liked this IPL, but is still a formidable force to reckon with. After Mohammed Shami and Lockie Ferguson, who have taken ten and nine wickets each so far in the season, Rashid is the next in line with eight from seven games. His economy rate of 6.5 is the best of the GT bowlers, followed by Shami’s 7.2. The GT vice-captain will be rearing to have a go at his former side again, and he was one of only two bowlers to pick up a wicket in that game, dismissing Abhishek Sharma within the powerplay. He also played a vital hand with the bat in his side’s win over CSK, hacing hit his highest-ever IPL score of 40 from 23 balls in a high pressure chase.

3. Back Abhishek Sharma at the top

None of the SRH batters are in the top ten run-scorers of the tournament. The backing of their young opener Abhishek Sharma has paid off well, with him scoring 220 runs in seven games at an average of 31. Still, he is only at number 18 on the list of contenders for the orange cap. After low scores in the first two games of the season, Abhishek has since scored one half-century, two scores of 42 and 47 as well one innings over 30. But since they have five wins from five games, they’re clearly doing something right.

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