It can’t get any better than this. Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Delhi Capitals (DC) are getting closer to finding out their playoff fate in the Indian Premier League. When the sides meet at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday, there is a lot riding on the result of the match.
A win in their previous match has been Royals’ third in nine games. Another win and a big one at that will push them one place above, but a loss will kill their qualification hopes. Delhi too had a win in their last match, which brought them up to third with four wins of their last five matches.
Rajasthan desperately wanted a spark to lift them in the season. Shunting Ajinkya Rahane off the captaincy and bringing Steve Smith worked like a dream in their last match. An unbeaten 48-ball-59 was enough to post a five-wicket win over Mumbai.
The 17-year-old youngster Riyan Parag also excelled with a 29-ball-43, while Shreyas Gopal and Jeffrey Archer continued to impress with their bowling. Jos Buttler’s absence will be a problem and so is Rahane’s poor striking rate to go with Jaydev Unadkat’s ineffective bowling.
Delhi have been impressive in their recent matches, winning four of their last five. As the tournament progressed, Shikhar Dhawan has picked up form and that is helping Delhi ease over the poor form of Prithvi Shaw.
Rishabh Pant hasn’t really fired consistently and the disappointment of not making the Indian World Cup is still weighing heavy. With the ball, Kagiso Rabada with 21 scalps is the proud owner of the ‘Purple Cap’, while the others have chipped around him.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Steve Smith enjoys leading from the front and he has shown it in his first match back as the Royals’ captain. With RR in need of consistent wins, Smith could a good pick for your fantasy side.
Sandeep Lamichhane has been in good form, although he wasn’t consistently chosen for the playing XI. Jaipur track, however, must suit his slow bowling.
Shikhar Dhawan has turned his season around and is scoring runs at will in the last few games. His quick starts could be the key to his place in your fantasy side.
RR: 1 Ajinkya Rahane 2 Sanju Samson (WK) 3 Steve Smith (C) 4 Ben Stokes 5 Riyan Parag 6 Liam Livingstone 7 Stuart Binny 8 Jofra Archer 9 Shreyas Gopal 10 Dhawal Kulkarni 11 Jaydev Unadkat
DC: 1 Prithvi Shaw 2 Shikhar Dhawan 3 Shreyas Iyer (C) 4 Rishabh Pant (WK) 5 Colin Ingram 6 Axar Patel 7 Sherfane Rutherford 8 Kagiso Rabada 9 Amit Mishra 10 Sandeep Lmichhane 11 Ishant Sharma
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