The team at the bottom of the table return to their home ground as the Delhi Daredevils host Rajasthan Royals. Both teams have struggled this season, but Delhi has looked good in their last three games. That they have won only one of them is another thing, but if they can plug the gaps, they might just make this season more interesting than it already has been.
Rajasthan has relied heavily on their batsmen this season to get them over the line. However, the addition of Jofra Archer to their squad has lent some massive weight to the attack. Can they counter the Daredevils, or will the home side win their third?
Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi, D'Arcy Short, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Heinrich Klaasen, Ish Sodhi.
Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.
Where the teams stand
Rajasthan lost their previous game against Hyderabad after their batting once again showed how dependent they are on Samson and Rahane to score it all for them. Rahane has failed to stamp his mark on this year's edition with the bat despite not being too far behind Samson in terms of runs scored. Samson’s quick scoring rate makes him very dangerous if not dismissed early, and he has played a significant role in all three of Rajasthan’s victories. None of the other batsmen have looked comfortable in the middle, despite boasting names like Stokes and Buttler. It will once again be about how much those two can do for the team, and how much the rest can contribute to aid the cause.
Jofra Archer has already picked up 6 wickets in the two games he has played so far, with an astonishing average economy of just 6. If he can keep up figures like these, Rajasthan are bound to be a significant threat with the ball. Archer will need support from his colleagues though, and he might not find much of it. Shreyas Gopal was their best bowler before Archer came along, but was dropped for the last match. He is likely to make it back for a slow Kotla wicket. Sodhi will also most likely make way for either Klaasen or Short. Besides Gopal, Gowtham has been inconsistent, but when he is good, he can be very economical. He has also taken 5 wickets in the season so far. Patchy individual performances will not help RR though, and both their departments need to come together and perform as a unit to give them the best chance of winning.
Fantasy Picks: Rahane, Samson, and Archer are the safest picks from RR. Stokes is perhaps the other safest gamble, while Gowtham has looked on the verge of exploding with the bat. He has also been economical with the ball, taking wickets as well.
Shreyas Iyer taking over as captain has had a profoundly transformative effect on Delhi. They have looked rejuvenated with both bat and ball and almost won against Punjab and Chennai both, two teams at the top of the table. Iyer and Pant have been sensational with the bat while bringing back Munro was the correct choice after he has looked explosive in his two games back. Even Vijay Shankar scored a fifty against CSK. However, Maxwell has been wasteful with the bat and is failing to justify his place in the squad. Iyer’s patience with him is surely close to running out. The batting has scored close to 200 in both their previous games and against a mostly sub-par RR bowling attack, these batsmen have a great chance to capitalise.
Delhi’s bowlers had an off-day against CSK after some great performances. Avesh Khan remained brilliant, conceding at only 7, but the rest went for plenty. Regardless, their bowling looks in good shape with Boult, Khan, and Plunkett charging down for them. Mishra and Tewatia are able spinners who bowl out their overs quickly without too much fuss. The onus will be on the pace attack to pile the pressure on RR in the early overs. The bowling led them down in the last game, but they will need to be on their best against Rajasthan lest they lose another. Being in good form means nothing without results, and Iyer will be itching to get some points in the bank.
Fantasy Picks: Pant and Iyer are obvious picks, while Munro and Boult are two other reliable picks based on their recent performances. Avesh Khan has also been very promising, and could be a great gamble.
Delhi win. Their remarkable turn-around, despite the lack of results, indicates a tough night for RR.
Can Delhi make for a tough night for Rajasthan? Let us know in the comments and poll below.