Rajasthan Royals will be looking to end the losing run of three games when they face Delhi Capitals on Friday.
It has been a contrasting start to the IPL campaign for Rajasthan Royals. After clinching two big wins at the start of the tournament, RR has suffered three consecutive defeats. Getting back to winning ways is going to be a difficult task for Steve Smith’s men as they come up against flying Delhi Capitals (DC) on October 9 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
RR’s two wins in the tournament came at Sharjah, so playing at the same venue bodes well for returning to form. Meanwhile, DC has been on a roll this season as they have churned out four victories in five games. Shreyas Iyer’s men will move back to the first position in the table by clinching a victory on Friday.
Not getting a good start to innings has been the biggest problem for RR in the past three games. The top order has not clicked together to give a solid foundation for the rest of the batsmen to set up or chase a big total.
Steve Smith and Sanju Samson have gone off the boil with a run of low scores. Jos Butler did return to form against Mumbai Indians with a quickfire half-century. This trio needs to be on their toes on Friday to help RR in batting against a formidable bowling lineup of DC.
Meanwhile, DC’s batting lineup has been performing consistently this season. Prithvi Shaw is giving a good start to the team, while the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Marcus Stoinis are consolidating the innings with powerful hitting.
Jofra Archer has been the standout bowler for RR, but he is also struggling to contain runs in the past few games. His battle with DC’s batting order will be an intriguing watch. DC currently have no problems in the bowling lineup as pacers and spinners are restricting the flow of runs and taking wickets at regular interval. Kagiso Rabada has been the standout bowler in IPL with 12 wickets in five games for DC.
DC will be looking to open a sizeable gap at the top of the table by winning the game on Friday, while RR needs a win to stay in the hunt for playoff spots. This game has all the ingredients to be a thriller, as Sharjah has been a high scoring ground this season.
By Kiran Thakare