After an action-packed weekend that saw some brilliant games of cricket, it is now time to anticipate what's in store in the Indian T20 League on Monday. Match number 40 of the franchise-based league will see Hyderabad lock horns with Rajasthan at the Dubai International Stadium. While Hyderabad are pretty much done and dusted as far as their race to the Playoffs is concerned, Rajasthan still have a chance of securing the Playoffs berth. Having said that, this would also allow Hyderabad to play a fearless brand of cricket while Rajasthan will be under the pump. Here is an attempt to closing on a team of the day based on the following factors:
1. Head-to-head record
Both these teams have come across each other as many as 14 times and it is even-stevens, as far as the overall head-to-head record is concerned. Thus both have won seven matches each and one of the teams will take a slight lead at the end of the 15th meeting on Monday.
2. UAE factor
As far as the UAE factor is concerned, the balance shifts slightly towards the Men in Pink. The teams have locked horns a total of 3 times in the Middle East nation and it is Rajasthan who edge out Hyderabad in this regard with 2 wins to 1. Even in the UAE leg of the Indian T20 League, Hyderabad have failed to win matches despite finding themselves in strong positions especially in the match against Punjab. Rajasthan showed that they continue to believe in their ability in the win over Punjab but have to work on a few areas to qualify to the Playoffs from here.
3. Form of players
Sanju Samson played a classy innings in their most recent outing against Delhi but it came in a losing cause. It's a massive learning curve for young Kartik Tyagi who showed what he is capable of against Punjab in that last over. Chetan Sakaraiya and Mustafizur Rahman were also superb with the ball in their last game and if Evin Lewis comes back, it would make for a solid XI. The only question is whether they can grasp those crucial moments and play to the best of their ability.
As far as Hyderabad are concerned, Jason Holder produced a special show. While the entire Punjab team scored five sixes, Holder alone struck five and produced his tournament-best both with the bat and ball yet failed to take his team home, suggesting the lack of form of other Orange Army players. Neither of David Warner, Kane Williamson or Manish Pandey have shown any signs of getting back into rhythm and it could be tough for them with more and more defeats piling against their name.
Considering the above-mentioned factors, the team of the day is Rajasthan.