IPL 2018: Royals, Daredevils look to open account

Having lost their respective opening encounters, both Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils would be hoping to get off the mark when the two teams clash in Jaipur on Tuesday.

Can Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes turn things around on Tuesday?   -  AP

The Sawai Mansingh Stadium last saw action five years ago before being banished from Indian cricket. On Wednesday, the 25,000-plus capacity venue is expected to roar again, when Rajasthan Royals - returning after a two-year hiatus - takes on Delhi Daredevils in its first home game of the season.

Rajasthan would be counting on that support. The venue has been an impregnable fortress for the team and mentor Shane Warne hoped it would live up to its reputation.

How the teams have fared against each other

 

"The fans here enjoy more than anywhere else in India. We would be looking to improve on what we did last night and put up a performance the fans will be proud of,” Warne said on the eve of the game.

Rajasthan was overwhelmed by an all-round Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday and, barring Sanju Samson's 49 which came in for special mention from Warne, there was little positive for the team.

The absence of bowling all-rounder Jofra Archer has been felt and Australia batsman D'Arcy Short's high-expectation debut in the IPL was short-lived. Seven of Rajasthan's batsmen fell in single digits – unacceptable in this format.

Samson rued the lack of partnerships – something captain Ajinkya Rahane had also emphasised after the loss – and hoped the strokes would come good in the next game. The team, however, would have to get a lot more than the 125 it managed last time.

For perennial underachiever Delhi, skipper Gautam Gambhir continued the form he has been in all through the domestic season but it wasn't enough against a rampaging K.L. Rahul, who took the game away in the first six overs.

How the two southpaws stack up

 

With Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris chipping in with the bat, Delhi would be hoping it all comes together.

“Anything can happen in T20 and we are confident of doing better tomorrow,” Naman Ojha said . However, with Pant around and performing decently, Ojha would have to wait for his chance.

Warne, meanwhile, had the last word. “My role is to pass on my knowledge and experiences, educate them and teach them little things about the game of cricket. Match awareness comes with time but I am trying to get them to believe they can go out there and take on anyone,” he said.

The fans here would be hoping for the same.