Inconsistent DD, RR keen to reboot in last leg

The two teams have mirrored each other in their problem areas; Royals’ wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler feels “it takes just one little slice of luck to start again”.

Delhi Daredevils skipper Shreyas Iyer at a practice session at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi.   -  Sandeep Saxena

 

Desperate to stay in the race for the play-offs and failing to find the winning formula, Delhi Daredevils would be hoping to lift itself out of the bottom when it hosts fellow strugglers Rajasthan Royals here at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground on Wednesday.

It is a familiar, but not comfortable, position for DD across the past 10 editions. A change of personnel both in the middle and the dugout hasn't really made much of a difference. The batting has been inconsistent, the bowling, barring Trent Boult, fumbled. The big foreign names in the side have not fired either. Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Liam Plunkett, Daniel Christian have all underperformed and Chris Morris is out with an injury.

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The Indians have been too erratic with Rishabh Pant and new captain Shreyas Iyer doing the bulk of scoring. And the fielding has left a lot to be desired.

In a way, the two teams have mirrored each other in their problem areas. RR's campaign, on its return to action this year, has been hampered by a lack of sufficient contribution from the foreign names and some dismal fielding.

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Its English batsman Jos Buttler accepted he hadn't done as well as he would have liked but put it all down to self belief here on.“We haven't quite performed as well as we would have liked to in the middle phase, myself and Ben Stokes specially, we really expected us to be able to come and play that role but we haven't quite done it yet. (But) it takes just one little slice of luck to start again and come back into the tournament,” Buttler said ahead of Wednesday's game.

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RR itself fell short of a much-easier 152-run chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad, collapsing towards the end. Slightly better off than DD on the points table, with an extra win and a game in hand, RR nevertheless would be desperate for some consistency.

Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson have been in good form but lacked support. Jofra Archer has played just two games and has shown what the team missed in its earlier games. But the rest haven't stepped up to the plate so far.

DD vs RR: Head-to-Head

Total Matches: 17

Delhi Daredevils won: 6

Rajasthan Royals won: 11

At the Feroz Shah Kotla

Matches: 6

Delhi Daredevils won: 3

Rajasthan Royals won: 3

In its last outing, DD came close but fell chasing a massive 212-run target, managing 198. The defeat meant every game now would be a virtual knockout for the side that has just two wins so far in eight games.