IPL Fantasy 2019: RR vs SRH - Who will be the X-factor in today's game?
With just twelve league games left in VIVO IPL 2019, almost every game from now on will have a bearing on the four teams that would make it to the playoffs. Rajasthan Royals courtesy Jofra Archer and Riyan Parag's brilliance handed KKR their sixth continuous defeat as Dinesh Karthik's scintillating 97 run knock went in vain.
SRH on the other hand have had a mixed campaign, far from their usual consistent and confident self. Way too much dependence on the opening combination of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow has meant that the middle-order has remained under prepared.
In their last game against CSK at the Chepauk, Jonny Bairstow didn't score, but SRH would have been thrilled to see the return of form of their middle-order mainstay Manish Pandey who returned to the side after being dropped for five games with a breezy, attractive knock. They will also hope the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Vijay Shankar can come good tonight at Jaipur against Rajasthan Royals.
RR are the most affected by the overseas players leaving the tournament midway. They will be without all their regular foreign players - Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer tonight. They would need an inspired performance from their Indian contingent if they stand any chance of remaining in contention for a playoffs spot.
With him scheduled to leave in a week or so, and the pitch at Sawai Mansingh stadium getting better for the batsmen as the tournament has progressed, the Fantasy X-factor for today's game is SRH's David Warner.
It would be an understatement to say that Warner has had a fabulous tournament. Some doubts were raised regarding his mental and physical preparedness for the IPL, coming after a year's ban from competitive cricket. But he has put all those doubts away in the most significant manner- by scoring heaps of runs.
He has enjoyed himself getting back to the openers position for the Orange Army. He has given their fans a lot to cheer about. His combination with Englishman Bairstow has been the highlight of this year's IPL. To see them bonding that well and demolishing oppositions has been a treat for fans to witness.
Warner leads the Orange Cap list by some distance with 574 runs from ten games. The next batsman in the list happens to be Bairstow only with 445 runs. Warner has amassed the runs at an astounding average of 71.75 at a strike-rate of 146.05. He has hit seven fifties and a century in this campaign.
The swashbuckling, attacking batsman from Australia crossed the 650 run mark in his last two IPL seasons in 2016 and 2017. He's almost getting to that mark again and it won't be surprising to see him probably get to that number with a big score against a RR bowling attack sans Archer.
Without doubt most fantasy team owners would have Warner in their side and rightly so. The opener would definitely score at a brisk pace and his innings would be filled with plenty of fours and sixes. He has hit 50 fours and 19 sixers so far, expect much more tonight!