The Indian Premier League is slowly coming into its own. Here, the insane becomes the norm and envisaging who’s got the finest balance is an uphill task. Before the start of the IPL, Rajasthan was proclaimed to be the strongest unit and Delhi Daredevils had the most balanced side. Both teams were hammered in their season openers but fortunately for them, this is just the start. The tournament begins in earnest from ball one a few voices may say but it’s only a matter of time when the teams put their feet down. Rajasthan suffered a massive 9 wicket defeat against the Sunrisers and Delhi were completely outclassed by KL Rahul’s blitz. Rahul got to his fifty in 14 deliveries; the fastest ever in IPL. The IPL grandeur moves to the pink city for the 6th fixture. It’s RR vs DD.
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium has always been a hunting ground for the Royals and it’ll take a special effort from Gautam Gambhir’s Delhi to overhaul a stern looking Rajasthan. At home, Rajasthan have won 34 of the 49 games played. RR also have gotten the better of DD in all the last 6 fixtures. What do the numbers say? Let’s take a look.
AT THE SAWAI MANSINGH STADIUM
VENUE: THE SAWAI MANSINGH STADIUM, JAIPUR
Chasing nowadays has become a primary option for all the captains. In the 5 games in the IPL so far, the teams batting second have won. Though CSK managed to win both games of the penultimate deliveries, teams have taken a liking to it.
The turf here is as Indian a pitch can get. However, the games are played post 8 PM and there are chances of dew affecting the game. Again, the grounds are not the biggest, therefore, the batters might get a little too carried away. 180 should be a winning score on this ground. Win the toss and bowl first.
STATS AT THE SAWAI MANSINGH STADIUM
|Matches won batting 1st||
|Matches won batting 2nd||
|Average 1st innings score||
|Average 2nd innings score||
|Highest total recorded||
197/5 by RR vs DC
|Lowest total recorded||
92/10 by MI vs RR
Trivia: Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed his highest ODI score on this ground. His 183* came against Sri Lanka.
For RR, Stuart Binny is likely to replace Krishnappa Gowtham and that’s the only tweaking Rajasthan would want to do.
For DD, Glenn Maxwell is all set to return and will walk into playing 11 straight away. Daniel Christian will make way for his Australian counterpart.
Ajinkya Rahane(c), D’Arcy Short, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Jos Buttler(wk), Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Ish Sodhi, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Heinrich Klaasen.
Gautam Gambhir(c), Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant(wk), Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Daniel Christian, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Prithvi Shaw, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Ajinkya Rahane (c), D Arcy Short, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Jos Buttler (wk), Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin
Gautam Gambhir(c), Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant(wk), Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Glenn Maxwell.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
AJINKYA RAHANE & GAUTAM GAMBHIR
Both the skippers are similar players when it comes to scoring rate. Rahane has always played the sheet anchor role for Rajasthan and the move has worked more often than not for them. Rahane isn’t the swiftest of starters but his ability to accelerate makes him a strong contender to watch out for.
Rahane’s strike-rate goes up to 120.48 compared to his 108.59 in the first 10 deliveries.
Gautam Gambhir begins his innings at a paltry 106.59 but his overall striking ability in the IPL is 124.68.If these two batsmen negotiate the new ball they score heavily and can accelerate at pace.
BEN STOKES & GLENN MAXWELL
Ben Stokes’ skills are no more concealed.Stokes is undoubtedly the best all-rounder in world cricket and as a captain, you have to show faith in his ability. Stokes will strike and when he does, Rajasthan is certain to win.
Stokes strike-rate in the death overs skyrockets to 203.53 and there’s no slogging. It’s beautiful ball striking.
Glenn Maxwell is one of a kind and the stokes he manufactures can’t be even imagined of. Maxwell in the death overs strikes at 222.17. The only concern with Maxwell is his consistency. There’s no boundary big enough to contain him, but it’s the wits he’s got to display to be a genuine match-winner.
SANJU SAMSON & D’ARCY SHORT
Samson has always been one of the finest young talents in India and his classy strokeplay has bamboozled many an opponent.
Samson scored 49 in the game against SRH and he’ll be a fine addition to the fantasy team. Samson has hit 57 sixes in 63 innings and his strike-rate is a decent 124.15 in the IPL.
D’Arcy short was the highest run-getter in the big bash league and since then his graph has shot upwards. He was acquired by RR for Rs. 4 crores and he’s surely going to be an impact player.
In T20s, Short averages a healthy 40.41 and scores at 150.38 runs per hundred balls. Short hits a boundary every 4.5 deliveries.
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