The Rajasthan Royals will start as overwhelming favourites when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Runners-up last season, Rajasthan have retained their formidable look. In fact, they look even stronger with some power additions from the auction.
Their spin attack looks like a force from another world. Last season’s highest wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal, the ever-wily and master spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Australian Adam Zampa form Rajasthan’s spin line-up.
But that doesn’t mean they are weak on other fronts. Their batting muscle lies in Jos Buttler’s power at the top, with captain Sanju Samson and West Indian finisher Shimron Hetmyer to fall back on.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, are in the process of rediscovering themselves. Though they will play at home, their task has been made harder by the absence of captain Aiden Markram, who is busy on national duty. Senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead them on Sunday.
Sunrisers will hope their pace attack of Bhuvneshwar, left-armer Marco Jansen and Umran Malik can make an impact.
■ Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals, 3.30pm, Hyderabad, live on Star Sports & Jio Cinema