The fortunes of Rajasthan Royals (RR) have taken a U-turn after they made a statement by winning two in two at the start of the tournament this year. Despite their smooth start, the Steven Smith-led men have faltered enough to waive their lead after moving out from Sharjah and have registered a hat-trick of defeats. For them, coming back to the venue might be a blessing as they might take inspiration from their two massive victories.
In this game, the Royals are coming after a crushing defeat of 57 runs against the might Mumbai Indians. The hapless bowlers of Rajasthan were plundered by Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya as MI posted a massive target of 194.
Coming to chase, RR looked completely out of sorts as no other batsman barring Jos Buttler (70 from 44) was able to make an impact. The sharp decline in the form of Sanju Samson and Steve Smith led the team to readjust their eleven by including youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kartik Tyagi, and Ankit Rajpoot, although the move was not quite able to change their fortunes.
On the other hand are the Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals: a team that has given a striking statement through its performance this year, and is entering into this clash after a clinical victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore by 59 runs. Winning four out of their five matches thus far, the DC have performed solidly in all the departments of the game. Skipper Iyer has been leading by example, whereas youngsters Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant have been amongst the runs too.
With pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Notje being on the money, and spinners Ravi Ashwin and Amit Mishra’s replacement Axar Patel bowling well in tandem, the Capitals are looking a formidable unit. Struggling to settle their eleven, the RR will need to find answers and make amends quickly before they meet the unstoppable DC on Friday at Sharjah International Stadium, Sharjah.
Pitch and conditions
The track at Sharjah has been a highway. With truckloads of runs on offer and tiny boundaries, the bowlers have been taken to a task without a single exception at this venue this year. One could well expect another run-feast given that even the lowest score at Sharjah this year has been above 200.
The bowlers have had a tough time out here, as regardless of the length, the batsmen have found ways to smack the leather to the boundary and beyond. Though the teams batting first have won three games out of four, both the teams might be inclined to chase with dew likely to play a role in the latter half.
Playing Combinations for RR vs DC
Rajasthan Royals Probable 11
Jos Buttler stood at one end fighting it out for his team in the last game, although the lack of support and a blinder of a catch by Kieron Pollard led his efforts in vain. Sanju Samson and Steve Smith – who did the majority of the scoring for the team initially – have lost touch ever since. The addition of Yashavi Jaiswal did not materialize much as the youngster went out without troubling the scorers.
The middle-order including, Mahipal Lomror, Rahul Tewatia, and Tom Curran crumbled completely to see their unit being totally outplayed in the last match. The management might have a penchant to get David Miller into the scheme of things. Youngster Kartik Tyagi looked promising in his spell of one for 36, although Ankit Rajpoot leaked runs heavily.
Probable 11- Jos Buttler (WK), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Steve Smith (C), Sanju Samson, Mahipal Lomror, Rahul Tewatia, David Miller/Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, Ankit Rajpoot
Delhi Capitals Probable 11
Shikhar Dhawan managed yet another start that he let go and did not convert, although his partner Prithvi Shaw batted with great ease during his quick-fore 42 against RCB before the belligerent cameos of Rishabh Pant and Marcus Soinis led the team to a daunting total. With a settled top four, the only concern for the Capitals is the lack of form for Shimron Hetmyer.
Axar Patel had a dream start to the tournament as he bagged the Man of the Match after being roped in as Amit Mishra’s replacement. The South African pace duo of Nortje and Rabada has been wreaking havoc and the latter scalped a four-for in the last game. With most of their members in the groove, DC is expected to go unchanged.
Probable 11- Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Ashwin, Harshal Patel, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
RR vs DC Head to Head
Played- 20 | RR won- 11 | DC won- 9 | NR- 0
Match Timings- 7:30 PM (IST), 6:00 PM (Local).
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 Hindi
Live Streaming– Disney + Hotstar VIP
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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