Having lost their last three matches, Rajasthan Royals will face a stiff challenge when they clash with the in-form Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League on Friday.
The Royals were off to a flying start, winning their first two games at Sharjah, but they have struggled to adjust to the bigger grounds of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, slipping to three successive defeats.
Now back to the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Rajasthan will take inspiration from two big wins earlier in the tournament to turn things around against a dominant Delhi.
Led by Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Capitals have looked solid in all three departments, winning four out of their five matches so far.
For Rajasthan, another defeat at this point will be a big blow. While the return England all-rounder Ben Stokes is good news, he is currently in quarantine and will be available only after October 11.
The sudden loss of form of skipper Steve Smith and Sanju Samson, who did the bulk of the scoring in the first two matches, is as much a reason for Rajasthan’s failures as the lack of runs from the Indian batsmen in the team.
RR did try to rejig their line-up against Mumbai Indians by including young batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal and pacers Kartik Tyagi and Ankit Rajpoot in the playing XI, but that didn’t lead to a change in fortunes. While Jaiswal was out for a second-ball duck at the top, Rajpoot went for 42 in his three overs but young Tyagi showed promise with his spell of 1/36.
RR results in IPL 2020
|RR vs CSK||22 Sep, Tue (1930)||Sharjah||RR won by 16 runs||2|
|RR vs KXIP||27 Sep, Sun (1930)||Sharjah||RR won by 4 wickets||4|
|RR vs KKR||30 Sep, Wed (1930)||Dubai||RR lost by 37 runs||4|
|RCB vs RR||3 Oct, Sat (1530)||Abu Dhabi||RR lost by 8 wickets||4|
|MI vs RR||6 Oct, Tue (1930)||Abu Dhabi||RR lost by 57 runs||4|
DC results in IPL 2020
|DC vs KXIP||20 Sep, Sun (1930)||Dubai||DC won Super Over after match was tied||2|
|CSK vs DC||25 Sep, Fri (1930)||Dubai||DC won by 44 runs||4|
|DC vs SRH||29 Sep, Tue (1930)||Abu Dhabi||DC lost by 15 runs||4|
|DC vs KKR||3 Oct, Sat (1930)||Sharjah||DC won by 18 runs||6|
|RCB vs DC||5 Oct, Mon (1930)||Dubai||DC won by 59 runs||8|
The good news for RR is the return to form of opener Jos Buttler, who scored a fine 44-ball 70 in the last game.
In the bowling department, Jofra Archer and Tom Curran have been left to do the heavy lifting, while spinner Rahul Tewatia has not been able to provide breakthroughs consistently.
Delhi, on the other hand, have been a well-oiled machine, boasting of a solid bowling unit which is well supported by the batsmen.
While skipper Iyer has been in good form, opener Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant too have been impressive with the bat. And Australian all-rounder Marcus Stonis has lent great balance to the side with two smashing half-centuries so far.
On the bowling front, Kagiso Rabada has looked ominous with 12 wickets to emerge as one of the best bowlers in the IPL so far. South African pacer Anrich Nortje too has delivered when the team needed him to.
Harshal Patel, as Ishant Sharma’s replacement, did well against Kolkata Knight Riders with 2/34 but he conceded 43 in the last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
A fit-again Ravichandran Ashwin, who replaced Amit Mishra, also returned with 1/26 in his comeback game.
|Mat||RR wins||DC wins||RR win%||DC win%|
|RR vs DC||20||11||9||55||45|
|Mahipal Lomror||Ankit Rajpoot||Shreyas Gopal||Jos Buttler|
|Manan Vohra||Mayank Markande||Ben Stokes||Robin Uthappa|
|Riyan Parag||Jofra Archer||Rahul Tewatia||Sanju Samson|
|David Miller||Varun Aaron||Shashank Singh||Anuj Rawat|
|Steve Smith||Jaydev Unadkat||Anirudha Joshi|
|Yashasvi Jaiswal||Kartik Tyagi|
|Shreyas Iyer||Ishant Sharma||Axar Patel||Rishabh Pant|
|Prithvi Shaw||Amit Mishra||Harshal Patel||Alex Carey|
|Shikhar Dhawan||Avesh Khan||R Ashwin|
|Ajinkya Rahane||Sandeep Lamichhane||Lalit Yadav|
|Shimron Hetmyer||Kagiso Rabada||Marcus Stoinis|
|Keemo Paul||Daniel Sams|
Match starts at 7.30 pm IST and will be live on Star Sports network / Disney+ Hotstar
(With PTI inputs)