In the 40th match of Indian Premier League (IPL), a rejuvenated Rajasthan Royals will lock horns with Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur
The Men in Pink will host the Delhi lads who have six wins from their 10 matches and are close to qualifying for the playoffs. Whereas, the host team has suffered six losses from nine matches and is desperate to get a few wins under their belt if they want to be in contention for the playoffs.
Both the teams are high on confidence as they won their last encounter. While DC is placed third on the points table, RR is seventh. If Delhi wins the game, they will be one step away from confirming their place in the top-four while Rajasthan will be at par with sixth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders if they secure two points.
After registering a five-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at their home ground, Delhi has consolidated their position with 12 points. While the bowling department of the team has been exceptional, DC's batting line-up is stronger in comparison to that of RR.
Experienced in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan and team skipper Shreyas Iyer possess the ability to take the match away from any opposition. Useful contributions from the duo helped DC emerge as winners in their last outing.
Prithvi Shaw and power-hitter Rishabh Pant have been hot and cold this season. When they come off good, it is always a delight to watch but when they don't, questions are raised on their shot selection. Pant needs to prove a point and perform on a consistent basis if he wants to represent India in the future.
Colin Ingram hasn't contributed much with the bat either. However, his fielding in the last game to dismiss Chris Gayle was the turning point of the match. Instead of Chris Morris, Sherfane Rutherford was included in the side. It isn't certain whether he will get another game or Morris will be back in the playing XI.
The team’s bowling heavily depends on the in-form Kagiso Rabada. The Purple Cap holder has picked up 21 wickets so far in the tournament. Delhi team and fans would want him to continue chipping in the wickets column as he would be supported by veteran Ishant Sharma.
The spin trio of Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, and Sandeep Lamichhane performed extremely well in the last game. With conditions favourable to spin bowling, the onus of breaking partnerships would be on them.
Ahead of the previous game played by Rajasthan Royals against Mumbai Indians, the team took a brave decision of replacing skipper Ajinkya Rahane with Steve Smith.
The newly appointed captain played a prolific inning of an unbeaten 59 from 48 deliveries, leading his team to a morale-boosting five-wicket victory.
Smith has a batting average of 60.50 in the IPL at Jaipur. In the six innings at this venue, he has scored 242 runs with the help of two unbeaten fifties.
There is also a strange possibility of Ajinkya Rahane losing his opening slot to Rahul Tripathi as has been struggling with form and seemed to be out of ideas.
Jos Buttler the premier batsman, had to fly back home to be with his wife, who is expecting their first child. This has led to a massive gap in the middle-order with Sanju Samson having to open the innings with Rahane.
Team's middle order could struggle as all-rounder Ben Stokes hasn't been able to deliver with either bat or ball this season. The Rajasthan bowling attack is weaker than Delhi's.
Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal and English all-rounder Jofra Archer are the stand out bowlers, with both claiming wickets on a consistent basis. The immensely talented 17-year-old Riyan Pirag played a match-winning innings giving out a glimpse of his skills as he scored a 29-ball 43.
RR's bowling at the death overs is a cause of concern as the bowlers have been inconsistent and leaked runs at crucial stages.
HEAD TO HEAD: 18
Delhi Capitals: 7 Rajasthan Royals: 11
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Ingram, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane, and Ishant Sharma.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith (C), Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Riyan Parag.
(Featured Image: FB/DC)
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