Despite having revived their sinking campaign to some extent via the five-wicket triumph over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals will have a tough task on hand when they take on Delhi Capitals in match number 30 of IPL 2020 at Dubai.
Although Delhi themselves went down to Mumbai Indians in their previous encounter, they should back themselves to win against Rajasthan. The last time the two teams met in the IPL, Delhi had it easy, getting the better of the Royals by 46 runs.
The addition of Ben Stokes to the playing eleven is a definite plus for RR. Although he couldn’t do much against SRH, Stokes’ presence gives the team some much needed x-factor as well as better balance. Delhi, on the other hand, would want to view the MI loss as a one-off and return to winning ways.
As RR and DD clash for the second time in IPL 2020, here’s a look at three player battles that could be key to the match.
#1. Shikhar Dhawan vs Jofra Archer
Despite scoring 200-plus runs in IPL 2020, Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan is yet to hit peak form. He has been constantly getting in and getting out. In the last match against Mumbai Indians, he was the team’s top-scorer with an unbeaten 69.
However, Dhawan’s knock led to mixed reactions as he took up 52 balls for the same, and he did not really take on the bowling until the very end. Dhawan’s conservative batting actually ended up costing Delhi in the end.
The left-hander has the ability to score at a swift pace, and needs to re-find his best form in the IPL.
Jofra Archer has been a lone ranger of sorts for Rajasthan in the bowling department. As such, if Dhawan can take him on and put him out of his comfort zone, it will be a massive positive for RR.
But, the task is easier said than done. Archer has been absolutely sensational in IPL 2020 with nine wickets in seven matches at a strike rate of 18.66 and an economy rate of under seven.
He will have a go at Dhawan with his lightning pace. It will be interesting to see the left-hander’s response.
#2. Rahul Tewatia vs Ravichandran Ashwin
How the world has turned around for Rahul Tewatia in a matter of a few action-packed weeks in the IPL. From struggling to get bat to ball in the first half of the innings against Kings XI Punjab to turning the game on its head with 30 from an over, Tewatia has covered a long distance in a short time.
When he then took on Rashid Khan of SRH and won the contest by playing some innovative strokes, no one was really surprised.
Tewatia’s stock has risen so swiftly that he is now expected to play the role of match-winner for the Royals in the IPL.
Having won the battle against Rashid, Tewatia will be confident of taking on Ravichandran Ashwin as well. The experienced offie has come back well after sustaining an injury early in the IPL.
Ashwin has claimed six wickets in five matches at a strike rate of 15 and an average of 7.40. He was in fact the man of the match the last time these two teams met, with figures of 2 for 22.
With the ball spinning away from Tewatia, stroke-making should be challenging against Ashwin. The RR all-rounder will thus need to produce fresh tricks from his bag in order to keep the Delhi spinner guessing.
#3. Kagiso Rabada vs Jos Buttler
Win or lose, Kagiso Rabada has been among the wickets for Delhi Capitals. In seven matches, the South African pacer already has 17 wickets to his name at a strike rate of 9.76 and an economy of 7.69. He has ran in and bowled hard, giving nothing away.
In Delhi’s impressive victory over RR, Rabada returned with figures of 3 for 35. He will be keen to carry on his wicket-taking form.
Rajasthan opener Jos Buttler has not had a great run in IPL 2020 so far. Apart from the 70 against Mumbai Indians, he hasn’t made a score of note. Buttler’s form at the top remains critical to RR’s hopes of engineering a turnaround in their fortunes.
There is no doubting Buttler’s credibility and talent, but time is running out for him and the franchise as far as IPL 2020 is concerned. Against Delhi, he will have the tough task of negotiating Rabada. No doubt Buttler will take him on.
His success or failure in the contest could determine the flow of the match.Published 14 Oct 2020, 15:48 IST