In the sixth match of 2018 IPL, two teams, who went down in their respective openers, will line up against each other at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Rajasthan Royals, led by Ajinkya Rahane, will return to their home after a two-year hiatus and host the Daredevils from Delhi.
While Royals were steamrolled by Sunrisers Hyderabad in their first match, Delhi finished second to Kings XI Punjab in the North Indian derby.
The Royals team management would want their batsmen to step up against Daredevils and shield their sub-par bowling department. Here’s how they might decide to line up for their second match of the tournament.
The swashbuckling Australian opening batsman was connecting well before he was involved in a mix up with skipper Rahane and was caught on the wrong end of a run-out. Short is expected to retain his place in the side and would want to bring his A-game to the fore. The pitch at Jaipur will also suit the attacking opener.
The Rajasthan Royals skipper has never been considered a match-winning T20 batsman, a notion which he, time and again, has failed to brush off. Rahane had played a knock of 13-ball-13 before he was holed out in the deep while trying to up the ante.
The Maharashtra batsman, who made a name for himself with his explosive knocks at the top of the order for Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL last year, will have to do with a spot in the middle order this season if the last match is anything to go by. Tripathi, like Samson, fell to Shakib Al Hasan and it was his wicket which triggered the collapse that RR never recovered from against SRH.
The Kerala youngster walked in at number three against SRH and was looking set for a big score before Shakib Al Hasan removed him a run short of a half-century. Samson’s innings had five boundaries in it as well, however, he lost his wicket at a crucial juncture in the match, something which he would like to improve on.
The costliest buy at the IPL auctions earlier this year, Ben Stokes would want to repay the faith RR management has invested in him. Walking in at number four in the last match, Stokes looked out of sorts and could only manage five runs in his eight-ball long stay at the crease. With the ball, he went for 21 runs in two overs.
The English wicketkeeper-batsman is one of the few players on the side, a list which includes Stokes and Short among others, who have the ability to turn the game on its head. Buttler would love to get his IPL going and what better occasion than RR’s first home match after two years.
Another Karnataka player in the side, Gowtham was bought for a whopping Rs. 6.20 crores by the Royals, however, his performance in the first match do not justify his price tag. He was removed for a duck by Siddarth Kaul and bowled only one over of his off-spin where he went for nine runs. Gowtham, though, is expected to make it to the starting XI.
The Karnataka all-rounder was one of the better performers for his side against SRH and most probably, will be retained by the team management for the encounter against Daredevils. With the bat, Gopal scored run-a-ball 18 while his leg-spin helped him finish with figures of 3-0-18-0
The experienced pacer from Mumbai was economical in the first match and gave away only 18 runs in 2.5 overs. However, he finished wicket less, along with five other RR bowlers. Kulkarni, one of the most experienced players in the side, will expectedly make it to the starting XI.
The most expensive Indian player at the IPL auction, Unadkat was smashed all around by Shikhar Dhawan in the first match. Though he managed to bag a wicket, that of Wriddhiman Saha, he was largely ineffective and question marks over his price tag remain.
The 35-year-old Australian made it to the playing XI against SRH as Royals’ first-choice pacer Jofra Archer was not fully fit yet. There have been no new updates on Archer’s injury condition and hence, Laughlin is expected to start for RR against Delhi as well