Shreyas Iyer’s Delhi Daredevils got off to a fantastic winning start, but that did not last long. At this moment, they lie at the bottom spot of the league log, and the struggling side will face Rajasthan Royals for a home game on Wednesday night.
The visitors are not in a good place either. Ajinkya Rahane’s Royals are at the sixth spot, and the chances of making it to the playoffs will be bleak if they lose a couple more games at the moment. In fact, a convincing victory for Delhi might see Iyer and co leapfrog three steps to climb to the fifth place after the match.
Both teams returned empty-handed from their last outings. In response to Chennai Super Kings’ mammoth 211, Delhi Daredevils tried heart and soul, but could only get 198 from 20 overs. They would, however, be happy to see Rishabh Pant back in form. The young wicketkeeper hit 79 from 45 balls to give some hope to his teammates. Vijay Shankar also scored a quickfire 54 not out after being good with the ball in the first innings. With these positives, the Daredevils will look forward to get three points against Rajasthan.
Rahane’s men, on the other hand, were not at all comfortable during their chase against a resilient bowling attack of Sunrisers Hyderabad. Batting first, relying on skipper Kane Williamson’s 63, Sunrisers put 151 on board. And that was enough for the best bowling lineup of the tournament. The Royals captain tried to put pressure right from the beginning, but wickets fell from the other end. Barring Sanju Samson’s 40, no other Rajasthan batsman could show any effort and Rahane’s unbeaten 65 went in vain. They had to suffer a 11-run-defeat in the end.
Since Chris Morris’s injury, Delhi’s weak link has been that foreigner spot. Both Dan Christian and Liam Plunkett have had their chances, but they failed to prove their worth. It will be interesting to see if Iyer continues to persist with Plunkett or whether he is dropped in the upcoming match. Otherwise, the team looks good and all they need is a stroke of luck. Against Rajasthan, the team will heavily depend on their openers and the spin bowling of Amit Mishra and Rahul Tewatia. Glenn Maxwell can also chip in with useful breakthroughs, as he has done in the last couple of matches.
Ben Stokes’s form has been a huge concern for Rajasthan Royals. The Englishman has to deliver should his team hope to make a case for themselves. Mahipal Lomror debuted in the last match and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal was benched in the process. While Mahipal’s performance was not extraordinary, he might get another chance. Henrikh Klaasen can also get a nod ahead of Jos Buttler who has been out of touch throughout the season.
Delhi Daredevils: Colin Munro, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (Wk), Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Liam Plunkett, Rahul Tewatia, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Henrikh Klaasen (Wk), Ben Stokes, Mahipal Lomror, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaidev Unadkat.
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