Rajasthan Royals had a terrible start to their IPL, losing heavily to Sunrisers Hyderabad. They were very poor in that match and were nowhere in the game, losing by 9 wickets.
Delhi Daredevils had a bad start too, losing to Kings XI Punjab quite easily. This was only to be expected. One can’t see the Royals and the Daredevils doing much in this edition of the IPL. They have many inherent weaknesses and that is only getting exposed at the highest level.
But this is not because the two teams don’t have enough quality players. Delhi have the highly talented Glenn Maxwell while the Royals have the brilliant all-rounder Ben Stokes. For many reasons though, we don’t see Maxwell and Stokes setting this IPL on fire. Stokes in particular looked out of sorts in the last match and lacked the hunger to perform.
Royals have to get their batting combination right. Nothing worked for them in the last game. Rahul Tripathi is a very good T20 opening batsman.
Playing him in the middle order does not make sense. But Royals are forced to do that so that they can have Ajinkya Rahane, the captain, at the top of the order. Rahane, frankly speaking, has never done much in T20 cricket and one can’t see him setting this IPL on fire.
For Delhi, their new overseas players such as Colin Munro are yet to adapt to Indian conditions. Munro is good against fast bowling, but struggles against spin. This is a serious weakness in his armory.
Also, for Delhi their lead spinner Amit Mishra was taken apart by KL Rahul in the last game. Mishra does not look as effective as he used to be and he could be a serious liability for them.
They could play Rahul Tewatia and Shahbaz Nadeem instead of Mishra. They are both more economical T20 bowlers. The seam bowling all-rounder Vijay Shankar is another potential liability. Shankar is a decent enough medium pacer, but yet to prove himself as a batsman. He was all at sea in the final of the Nidihas Trophy in Sri Lanka, which has cost his reputation a great deal.
The good news is Glenn Maxwell is back. Maxwell could replace Dan Christian in the team. He is a swashbuckling batsman and much is expected from him. How can we forget how he dominated the 2015 IPL? Unfortunately, he has never been able to repeat the performance again.
Rajasthan Royals: 1 D’Arcy Short, 2 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Sanju Samson, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Butler, 7 Stuart Binny 8 Shreyas Gopal, 9 Dhawal Kulkarni 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Ben Laughlin
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Colin Munro, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Rishabh Pant, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Rahul Tewatia 9 Shahbaz Nadeem/Amit Mishra 10 Trent Boult, 11 Mohammed Shami
Watch Rajasthan Royals take on Delhi Daredevils tonight at 8 pm on Star Sports!