Former Indian wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel feels Shimron Hetmyer should make his way back to the Rajasthan Royals (RR) playing XI on Friday, if available. The Caribbean ace missed the last two IPL 2022 contests after flying to Guyana to attend the birth of his child.
In the absence of Hetmyer, the Sanju Samson-led side filled the fourth overseas spot with Jimmy Neesham and Rassie van der Dussen. The 25-year-old southpaw has been a vital cog for RR this season following his exploits in the death overs.
Believing that the change to bring in Hetmyer should be the only one Rajasthan should consider doing against Chennai Super Kings. Parthiv Patel said on Cricbuzz:
"I think only one simple change is needed if Hetmyer is available. He should come in for Jimmy Neesham, they don't need to consider any other change than that, everything is going well for them."
Adding that the Royals should explore this opportunity to fine tune their little flaws, Patel said:
"If they can resolve Sanju Samson's inability to convert his starts and end their overreliance on Jos Buttler before the playoffs, then it would be really good for them."
Sanju Samson has scored 359 runs at an average of 29.92 with a couple of fifties. However, the sublime batter has been guilty of reckless batting at times and failing to convert starts into big impactful scores.
Pragyan Ojha also agreed that Hetmyer should be a part of the playing XI, if he is available. During the same interaction, he said:
"Hetmyer should definitely come in place of Neesham if he is available. Kuldeep Sen can also be brought in because he is bowling well. He is a good young fast bowler."
With 291 runs at a strike rate of 166.29, the explosive left-handed batter is enjoying his most successful IPL season.
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"I think from RR's perspective, this game is very important" - Parthiv Patel
The inaugural winners have the chance to become the third IPL team to qualify for the playoffs. They could also seal second spot if they defeat the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday. A defeat could either place them below the top two spots or even eliminate them in a highly unlikely but not impossible scenario.
Explaining the importance of having two opportunities in the playoffs, Patel said:
"I think from RR's perspective, this game is very important. They have a higher NRR compared to LSG, and when you play a long tournament like this, and you get multiple chances in the knockouts, it becomes very important. If something like what happened with GT occurs, then the second chance comes in handy."
Rajasthan will take on CSK on May 20 (Friday) at the Brabourne Stadium, which hosts its final match of the tournament.
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