Rajasthan Royals is back in Sharjah. The team will be hoping to return to winning ways against Delhi Capitals on Friday.
After winning the first two games at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the Royals have lost the next three. Steve Smith’s men will be desperate for a turnaround. They could not have wished for a better venue to put their campaign back on the rail. It was on this ground that they completed their stunning chase of 227 – the highest in the IPL history – against Kings XI Punjab.
Later, Royals was outplayed by Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. It certainly has to come up with a much improved show if it has to turn the table on Delhi, which is looking in great shape and form.
Shreyas Iyer has led Capitals with imagination, besides coming good with the bat. With 181 runs, he is the sixth leading scorer in the tournament. Opener Prithvi Shaw, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis too have been amongst the runs.
Among the bowlers, Kagiso Rabada currently owns the Purple Cap with 12 wickets. His fellow South-African quick Anrich Nortje, with seven scalps, is second in the list.
It will be interesting to see how they fare on a batting paradise against the likes of Jos Buttler, Smith and Sanju Samson.
Buttler’s return to form is a boost for the Royals but the inconsistency of Smith and Samson is a cause for concern.
As for bowling, spearhead Jofra Archer needs more support. Nineteen-year-old seamer Kartik Tyagi made a promising debut against Mumbai Indians, but the likes of Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia have to do better.
Steve Smith (Captain), Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Ankit Rajpoot, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Mayank Markande, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye, Rahul Tewatia, Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran and Anuj Rawat.
Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmyer, Kagiso Rabada, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper), Marcus Stoinis, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Keemo Paul, Daniel Sams, Mohit Sharma, Anrich Nortje, Alex Carey, Avesh Khan, Tushar Deshpande, Harshal Patel and Lalit Yadav.
Game No. 22: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Date: October 9, Friday.
Time: 7:30 p.m.