IPL 2018, Match 21, RR vs MI - Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI

IPL 2018, Match 21, RR vs MI – Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI

The Rajasthan Royals have lost their previous two matches in the season.

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals celebrate a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Rajasthan Royals have horribly messed up the proceedings for themselves in the ongoing edition of the tournament. Their first match had seen them lose out by a crushing 9-wicket margin against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Many believed that they do not have the right set of players at the right positions this season. However, the Royals bounced back strongly with two consecutive wins.

All of a sudden, they found themselves in the top half of the points table for the season. But in the next two matches that followed, they have surrendered meekly against the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings. Their most recent defeat against CSK will be an alarming call for the team management to rethink their strategies.

It is totally beyond the levels of understanding why someone like Rahul Tripathi is batting in the middle order. The concerns are not just restricted to one odd batting position, but almost all. The Rajasthan Royals are not set to lock horns against the Mumbai Indians in their upcoming fixture in Jaipur. It will be interesting to see how Ajinkya Rahane and co. take this game and what permutations they finally go with.

Here is the Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI for the match:

Openers (Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi)

The skipper Ajinkya Rahane has been phenomenal at the top of the order this season. Rahane has consistently got starts from his end in the opening role. But he has found no support from the other end. After D Arcy Short’s failure in the opening slot, the team tried Heinrich Klaasen as Rahane’s opening partner, but in vain.

Now, in all likelihood, the franchise is expected to go ahead with Rahul Tripathi in the opening slot. To be fair and honest, Tripathi’s talent is wasted in the middle overs. He is someone who can time the new ball and be very attacking in the powerplays.

Middle-order (Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Heinrich Klaasen)

The Rajasthan Royals middle-order looks very bleak on paper. Not so long ago, they boasted of a strong middle order owing to the batting form of Sanju Samson. But Samson, ever since his 92 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, has failed to get runs in the season. He will be hoping to get back in form soon.

The other batsman in the middle-order who needs to step up in Jos Buttler. Buttler was a prolific batsman for the Mumbai Indians in the previous year. He needs to replicate his heroics for the new side. In the game against MI, the team will hope that Buttler comes good against his ex-teammates.

South African wicketkeeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen finally got a go in the previous game. He made it to the playing eleven at the expense of D Arcy Short. But Klaasen failed to deliver in the opening slot. The team management could pretty well swap his batting position with Rahul Tripathi in the coming games.

All-rounders (K Gowtham, Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny)

The all-rounders department looks pretty balanced on paper for the Rajasthan Royals. But when it comes to performances, there is nothing much to boast about. Ben Stokes is the biggest name in the franchise but the Englishman has largely disappointed this season. Stokes, however, showed signs of good form with a score of 45 in the previous game.

The other all-rounder who has managed to get some success in the tournament is K Gowtham. Gowtham has been bowling in the powerplays and has come good for the team with the ball in hand. However, when it comes to batting, Gowtham has largely been a failure in the season.

Stuart Binny made it to the playing eleven in the previous game. Dhawal Kulkarni had to sit out to accommodate Binny in the side. Binny got only two overs to bowl and did a decent job. He needs to up his game a little more to ensure he becomes a regular face in the RR setup.

Spinners (Shreyas Gopal)

Karnataka spinner Shreyas Gopal is arguably the solitary positive for the Royals in the last two games. He has managed to chip in with crucial wickets which has often brought back the Royals in the matches. In the game against CSK, Gopal scalped three key wickets in the middle overs.

Pace bowlers (Ben Laughlin, Jaydev Unadkat)

The pace bowling in the Rajasthan Royals camp needs some serious beef up. The Royals have similar bowlers and hence, the lack of variety in the camp is hurting them big time. Ben Laughlin has been amongst the wickets but has failed to contain the run flow.

On the other hand, the million dollar man Jaydev Unadkat is yet to hit his straps right in the match. Unadkat has been all over the place and his off cutters are also not yielding the intended results for the team. For Royals to succeed, they need their pacers to contain the run flow in the death overs.

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