With Rajasthan (6 points from 7 matches) suffering a 46-run defeat at the hands of Delhi last week in Sharjah, the Steve Smith-led team will look to return the compliment. The last time the two teams clashed, RR didn’t have Stokes in its ranks.
And even though the England all-rounder didn’t set the stage on fire in his first game, his presence inspired Royals to snap a four-match losing streak against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) here. While Stokes will be an important cog in the RR wheel, the side will have to fix its top-order, which has been short of runs in the last five games.
Skipper Smith and Sanju Samson have failed to make any significant contributions with the bat since lighting up the Sharjah Stadium in Rajasthan’s first two matches. Jos Buttler produced a superb 44-ball 70 against Mumbai Indians (MI), but didn’t capitalise on the starts in the last two games.
In fact, if it wasn’t for Rahul Tewatia, Royals would still be in the dumps. The all-rounder, who blasted five sixes in one over against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), once again rescued RR with a 28-ball 45 against SRH. Jofra Archer will lead the bowling charge for Rajasthan, which also has leg-spinners Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal.
Delhi (10 points from 7 matches) was brought down by Mumbai in its last fixture and Shreyas Iyer’s men will look to shrug off the odd defeat and get back to the top. DC possesses an explosive batting
department as well as a formidable bowling unit, which is spearheaded by Kagiso Rabada, the leading wicket-taker with 17 scalps.
He has been supported well by fellow South African pacer Anrich Nortje and Harshal Patel. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, along with Axar Patel, has done a good job to suffocate the opposition teams. Marcus Stoinis has been an asset while Shikhar Dhawan’s return to form further boosts DC’s batting order, featuring Prithvi Shaw and Iyer in the top four.