IPL 2018, RR vs SRH: Predicted XI for Rajasthan Royals for their fourth home game
Rajasthan Royals were one of the two teams that were making a comeback this year. However, their return hasn’t been as celebrated as much as Chennai Super Kings. But they’ve always been a team that punches above their weight.
It has been an up and down season so far for Rajasthan Royals (RR). They’ve lost 3 and won 3 and haven’t managed to gather any momentum. In today’s game, they face a red-hot and an in-form Sunrisers Hyderabad who have made a habit of defending low scores. SRH won the first encounter between the two sides in Hyderabad earlier in the tournament. But RR will be hoping to pull back at home and jump ahead in the points table.
Thus, let’s take a closer look at how Rajasthan Royals might line up against SRH.
Ajinkya Rahane was made the captain of the side after Steve Smith banned from this IPL. In his first IPL season as captain, Rahane’s captaincy has been good this season. He’s looked in good touch and has got starts. He’s scored 160 runs in 6 innings so far but his inability to convert those starts will be a concern for the hosts.
After playing five games in the middle-order Rahul Tripathi finally walked out to open the batting (which is his preferred position) in the last game. He didn’t score many as he was dismissed for 9 but the team management will back the Pune batsman to come good at the top of the order and will not drop him after just one failure (as an opener).
Sanju Samson has been Rajasthan’s best batsman so far in the tournament. In 6 innings, he has amassed 239 runs and has a very good strike-rate of 150.31. After a couple of failures, Samson set up the chase in the last against Mumbai Indians with an excellent half-century. He will continue to be the fulcrum for RR at No. 3.
Ben Stokes so far hasn’t quite fired in this tournament. He’s managed to 147 runs in 6 innings and has taken just 1 wicket. But he has shown signs of good form in the last couple of outings. He scored a fluent 40 against Mumbai Indians in the last game. RR will be hoping that their most expensive buy this year will deliver the goods.
Like his compatriot, Jos Butler has also not got going in this season. Big things were expected of Butler but the England wicket-keeper hasn’t fired yet. In 6 innings, he’s managed to reach the 20s four times but hasn’t kicked on with his highest score being 29. But Butler can be devastating and he can turn the game in the span of few deliveries and hence, the RR team management will be hoping he delivers in the coming games.
Heinrich Klassen was brought in place of D’Arcy Short after the latter struggled in the first four games. He can play spin well and control the middle-overs well. However, the South African wicket-keeper batsman has failed in the two games he’s played, scoring 7 and 0. However, the team management is likely to stick with him and give him a longer rope.
Jofra Archer was one player who excited a lot of people and his debut was one of the most awaited ones this season. After recovering fully from a side strain, Archer played his first game of his IPL career against Mumbai Indians and had a massive impact. He won the Man of the Match for his excellent bowling figures of 3/22. He was quick and troubled the batsmen with pace. He also used his variations well and has been a superb addition to this RR side.
Krishnappa Gowtham was the hero for RR in the last game when he struck a superb 11-ball 33 to help RR get over the line. He has been decent with the ball throughout the tournament where he has often taken the new ball but his ability with the bat was on display in the last game. Gowtham will want to continue the good work in the coming games.
Shreyas Gopal’s performance this season has gone under the radar. He’s the highest wicket-taker for RR in this tournament. In fact, he also has one of the best economy rates in the team (7.20). He has this excellent knack of picking up crucial wickets and thus, RR will continue to bank on the Karnataka leggie to play a key role in the middle-overs.
Jaydev Unadkat has had a disappointing season so far. After his performances last year, RR broke the bank for the Saurashtra left-arm pacer. But he hasn’t been at his best. In 6 games, he’s taken just 3 wickets and has been very expensive. He has an economy rate of 10.05 and has not been able to contain the run-flow at the death as well. But he will continue to be a vital part of the team and will be hoping to turn things around.
Dhawal Kulkarni has also had an underwhelming season so far. He didn’t pick up a single wicket in the first four games he played. But he did well in the last against Mumbai where he picked up the key wickets Evin Lewis and Ishan Kishan. The right-arm pacer will be the key with the new ball and RR will be hoping he knocks over SRH’s opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson early.