Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Rajasthan Royals' (RR) top three batsmen - Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes - will have to fire for them to have a consistent run in IPL 2020.
He made this observation while reviewing the Jaipur-based franchise's defeat against the Delhi Capitals (DC) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that the Delhi Capitals managed to escape with a win in a match that was slipping out of their grasp. On the other hand, he stated that the Rajasthan Royals lost a match they should have won easily.
"It seemed that the match could slip out of Delhi Capitals' hand but they won in the end while Rajasthan Royals might have felt that they could have walked home in this match but they could not. This is the story of the two teams. While one team is climbing new heights, the other team is getting a little worried."
The reputed commentator added that Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes will have to do their job with the bat if the Rajasthan Royals are to enjoy a long run of success in the tournament.
"There is no chance of Rajasthan Royals consistently winning games unless their big three start scoring runs."
Talking about the Rajasthan Royals run-chase, Aakash Chopra observed that the franchise should have cantered home to victory considering the flying start given by Jos Buttler, with Ben Stokes also batting well till the time he was at the crease.
"Rajasthan Royals should have chased down the 162-run target after the start they got from Buttler. He played some unbelievable shots before he got out. Stokes was looking good while he was playing but he also got out."
The 43-year-old highlighted that Steve Smith has not been amongst the runs after the initial couple of matches. He mentioned that Sanju Samson and Robin Uthappa tried to do their best while adding that Riyan Parag's run out after a mix-up with Uthappa was a terrible moment for the Rajasthan Royals.
"Steve Smith has not scored runs after the first two matches. Sanju Samson did try, Robin also tried but Parag actually got run out with him, that was actually a very very bad moment in the game."
Aakash Chopra stated that Rahul Tewatia was stranded alone at the end, with the Rajasthan Royals falling short of their target.
"And then Rahul Tewatia was left alone and then the game they should have won, they ended up losing."
Aakash Chopra on the Rajasthan Royals' big three not firing
Aakash Chopra observed that the established names in the Rajasthan Royals batting lineup have not delivered as per expectations.
"The youngsters might win you games, but in the end you keep big names in a team, so that they will win you matches."
The former KKR player pointed out that Jos Buttler has had just the one big score, while Steve Smith has done little of note after his initial two knocks. He added that Ben Stokes has looked in decent touch in the couple of games he has played and is likely to come good in the upcoming matches.
"Buttler has played one brilliant innings but Rajasthan Royals could not win that match, I can understand that can happen. But Steve Smith's two innings, after that nothing. Ben Stokes is looking good, eventually he will fire but it has not happened till now."
Aakash Chopra mentioned that the Rajasthan Royals are leaving too much to be done by the young guns in their team and need the experienced players to fire in order to harbour any hopes of a playoff spot.
"So this team is looking towards young players to make them win but that is not going to happen again and again. If they were to turn around this season, they have won only three out of their eight games, if you want to qualify somehow the top three will have to do well."
He signed off by suggesting that either Steve Smith or Ben Stokes need to bat at No. 4, as the three established players cannot all bat in the top three.
"And the top three should not bat together, Smith or Stokes should come at No.4. Whatever it takes, these three players should not play at No.1, 2 and 3, this is what I feel."
The Rajasthan Royals seemed to be well on their way to an easy victory, having reached a score of 85/2 at the end of 10 overs. But with just 77 runs required off 60 deliveries, they kept losing wickets after the dismissal of Ben Stokes to eventually lose the match by 13 runs.
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Published 15 Oct 2020, 11:53 IST