IPL 2019: Resurgent Rajasthan Royals takes on formidable Delhi Capitals

As Rajasthan Royals gears up for Delhi Capitals, new captain Steve Smith will hope to build on the good show the team had against Mumbai Indians.

Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals outclassed Mumbai Indians — without Jos Buttler, its leading scorer for the last two seasons and under Steve Smith, who took over from Ajinkya Rahane. Royals would be hoping for another show like that on Monday, when it takes on Delhi Capitals.   -  AFP

Sometimes, all a team needs is just one game to get back on track.

For Rajasthan Royals, that was the game against Mumbai Indians on Saturday in the 12th edition of the IPL.

Here was a team that was probably one loss away from elimination, playing without its best performer and saw a change in captaincy hours before the match. And it was up against a side that had won four of its last five games.

Yet, Royals outclassed Mumbai Indians — without Jos Buttler, their leading scorer for the last two seasons, and under Steve Smith, who took over from Ajinkya Rahane.

Royals would be hoping for another show like that on Monday, when they take on Delhi Capitals.

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Identical win

Shreyas Iyer’s men, too, have been in good form.

Hours after Rajasthan’s five-wicket win, Capitals posted an identical win over Kings XI Punjab at Delhi, where they had been struggling this season.

Of their five games at home, they have lost three (one match went to the Super Over), though they won four of their five away games.

It is the depth in the side that has made Capitals such an excellent touring side. In Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas, they have two batsmen in form. Then there are the likes of Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and Colin Ingram.

Kagiso Rabada has 21 wickets from 10 matches and has been exhilarating to watch.   -  AP

 

Spearhead Rabada

The bowling is spearheaded by Kagiso Rabada, the purple cap holder.

The South African quick has 21 wickets from 10 matches and has been exhilarating to watch.

The other Proteas seamer Chris Morris also has been amongst the wickets. Spinners Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane and Axar Patel could have a role to play, given the slow surface at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Shreyas Gopal’s leg-spin has been very effective for Royals here.

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He and seamer Jofra Archer have shouldered the bowling responsibility admirably. The host could also take heart from the improved bowling by Jaydev Unadkat in the death against MI.

Equally heartening must be the way the batting clicked and the courage and composure displayed by 17-year-old Riyan Parag, who had a match-winning partnership with the new skipper.

Buttler’s explosive batting may not be available at the top of the order, but Sanju Samson and Steve Smith are in good touch to make up for it.