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IPL 2020 Match 23 Preview: RR vs DC - Rajasthan banking on Sharjah lucky charm to stun red-hot Delhi

Tom Curran & Jos Buttler
Tom Curran & Jos Buttler

It will be comforting for Rajasthan to go back to Sharjah, where they won both their first two matches of the season. Post that, the team has suffered defeats in all three of their matches and have slid to the second-last spot in the points table.

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 LIVE - Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Capitals, 23rd Match

The wait for Stokes continues

Rajasthan have found themselves in a real muddle in the last couple of matches with them unsure of their batting line-up. They brought back opener Yashasvi Jaiswal in the last game but he was dismissed for a duck. One would expect them to persist with the talented youngster for at least a couple of matches before they make any other change.

This is the last match that Rajasthan are playing without Ben Stokes this season. He will be available for their next match on October 11 which would obviously improve their balance.

Buttler and Smith have to start well for RR's batting to shine

The good thing for Rajasthan though was that Jos Buttler fired for them in the last fixture with a 44-ball 78 a strike rate of close to 160. If Steve Smith, who got starts in the first two matches, begins to get going, Sanju Samson has enough muscle to continue clearing the short boundaries at Sharjah consistently.

After Rajasthan dropped Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag in their last match, their batting is looking a bit thin. Mahipal Lomror has played one good knock but they need one more batsman unless they are banking on Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal to give them some runs.

Jofra Archer to get support from Karthik Tyagi

With the ball, Jofra Archer has been good with five wickets from as many matches at an economy of 7.10 but he needs a bit more support. Kartik Tyagi was impressive for Rajasthan in the last match. The under 19 sensation finished with figures of 4-0-36-1 and showed the capability to bowl well at the death as well.

Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia have shown glimpses of their brilliance but it's about the bowlers coming good as a unit. Tom Curran has not been at his best and Rajasthan will give it a thought to include Varun Aaron or Oshane Thomas in his place.

Delhi on a roll

Delhi Capitals, on the contrary, have been on a roll, winning four of their five matches in the tournament till now. They met Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last match and register a thumping 59-run victory.

Shaw, Rabada and Nortje in form

Their opening combination of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan is doing well for the side with Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis shining in the middle order.

With Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje forming a dream pace bowling pair and Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin doing the job in the spin department, Delhi have all their bases covered.

Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:

Rajasthan Royals (RR): Jos Buttler(wk), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson, Mahipal Lomror, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Oshane Thomas/Tom Curran, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Kartik Tyagi

Delhi Capitals (DC): Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer(c), Rishabh Pant(wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Harshal Patel

Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals: The Big Match Preview

Thursday 9th October 3pm (UK) – Sky Sports Cricket

We’re approaching the halfway stage of the tournament. Five games in with two wins and three losses on the board, the Royals have endured a difficult spell of fixtures in the Dream11 IPL. Against Delhi Capitals, our Royals will go again in search of that much-awaited third win. The good news is that the boys go back to Sharjah for this all-important game, a place where we’ve won both our games in this year’s IPL. A big game against the Capitals, calls for a big statement performance from the Royals, something the boys are working towards. 

Venue Talk

Seven 200+ totals have been recorded at Sharjah, with teams batting first ruling the roost. It’s been the pitch that has gotten the best out of Rajasthan Royals’ batsmen this term and could well be the case when we take on the Capitals on Friday. 

The pitch coupled with the ground dimensions have not been kind to the bowlers, Delhi in their last game scored almost 230 and were involved in a tense clash against the Knight Riders. The fixture provides a good chance for some of our top batters to get back their respective forms and score some important runs.

Sharjah has so far brought the best out of the Royals as a unit and the boys would be hoping to get another win under their belts by claiming the scalp of the high flying Delhi Capitals.

Early Team News

Ben Stokes remains in quarantine ahead of his forthcoming return, he will be out on October 10th. Jos Buttler looked in great form in the last game against Mumbai Indians and the Royals would be hoping for him to kick on and score plenty at Sharjah in potentially good batting conditions. 

Opposition chatter

Delhi Capitals come to Sharjah flying high with four wins in their opening five games. With a well-rounded squad, the Capitals would be looking to notch up another win at Sharjah, a place where their batsmen too, have looked at ease and in form. Delhi’s only defeat so far has come whilst chasing and while the batting looks powerful on paper, it is still to be tested whilst chasing a big score and at Sharjah, the Royals could have the chance to put up a good score on board and put the opposition under some sort of pressure. 

The big talking point

A few of the bowlers and batsmen would need to put their hands up if the Royals are to win games in the IPL from hereon. Three losses in a row is a tricky situation to be in for the team and boys would be hoping to come together and put in a special performance and get their third win in Sharjah and third of the tournament. 

Word from the camp

Kartik Tyagi:

“It was a great experience to play my first game, to get a test cap from one of the best batsmen in the world. To make my debut against players whom I’ve only watched on television was fantastic.”

“All the big senior players that I’ve met so far, I‘ve tried to know how they prepare for games. What are they thinking and what’s going on in their heads. How I can make fewer mistakes and how they manage to reduce their errors in the game.”

“We’re preparing well for our next game. Delhi is in a great rhythm and is doing very well. We’ve lost a bit of the rhythm and would like to regain some, hopefully, give a tough fight and play a good game.”

Robin Uthappa:

“I am quite confident that we’ll do well going ahead. In the IPL it doesn't really matter how you start it but is really important how you end the tournament. From my experience, I feel if we can get the momentum back on our side in the coming matches then it’ll bode well for us and I truly believe that we can do it. I think our bowling at the moment is a bit predictable, and I think we’ve learnt a bit from our last few games, hopefully, we’ll apply them and get the desired results.”  

“I feel the team balance and combinations are pretty good. We’ve got good batsmen in our squad, we’re also going to have Ben Stokes back with us soon and he’ll strengthen our line-up.”

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