IPL 2019 – Match 53: Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals – RR Predicted Playing XI
RR have already lost the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer and now, they will be taking the field without Steve Smith.
Updated - May 3, 2019 6:19 pm
Rajasthan Royals have had a late resurgence in this tournament. They had two wins in eight games before captaincy changed hands and it’s worked wonders since then. They’ve lost only one game since Steve Smith took over the reins. However, despite that, their qualification hangs by a thread. They need a lot of results to go their way.
They would rue the washout in the last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). RR were in a good position to win the five-over game but with just 10 balls to go, rain played spoilsport and the game was abandoned. That washout means that RR can get to a maximum of 13 points and they would hope no other team can go beyond 12.
Captaincy changed midway through the season and it has to change hands once again. Steve Smith has gone back to Australia to prepare for the World Cup. Hence, it’ll be interesting to see who takes over. Ajinkya Rahane who led the side in the first half of the tournament looks the most likely candidate. In their last league game of the season, Rajasthan will face Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. They have already lost the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer and now, they will be taking the field without Steve Smith as well.
Openers (Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone)
After being relieved of the burden of captaincy, Ajinkya Rahane has looked at his fluent best. He’s timing the ball beautifully and what’s impressive is that he’s giving RR some solid starts. He didn’t open the batting in the last game as it was reduced to five overs and RR opted to send Sanju Samson alongside Liam Livingstone.
The 25-year-old Lancashire batsman was shifted to open the batting only a couple of games ago. He batted well against SRH as he scored a handsome 44 before he was unbeaten on 11 in the last game against RCB. Hence, he will continue to bat at the top of the order.
Middle-order (Sanju Samson, Manan Vohra, Ashton Turner)
Sanju Samson has looked in really good touch in the last few games. Though he’s not got a big score, he’s been striking the ball really well. He scored an unbeaten 48 in RR’s win over SRH and in the five-over game against RCB, he scored a quickfire 28.
Meanwhile, with Steve Smith flying back to Australia, Ashton Turner might get another game. He registered three successive ducks before finally opening his account in the game against SRH. He was dropped in the last game but might play the final league game. In the absence of Steve Smith, RR might look to add some batting depth. Manan Vohra may come in for his first game and may bat at No. 4 as well.
All-rounders (Riyan Parag, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal)
Riyan Parag has been impressive. He’s played a couple of really good knocks. He has also chipped in with the ball at times. Hence, it’s been a good debut season for the 17-year-old. Shreyas Gopal has been a revelation this season. He’s made it a habit of picking up key wickets. In fact, the Karnataka leg-spinner has been RR’s best bowler this season.
Given the slow nature of the pitch at the Ferozshah Kotla and considering four left-handers in Delhi’s top six, Krishnappa Gowtham might get a game. He went wicketless for five successive games before he was dropped. However, he might as well play his seventh game of this season against DC.
Bowlers (Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas)
Jaydev Unadkat has been coping with a lot of criticism in recent times. However, he has looked in good rhythm in the last couple of games. He won the player of the match against SRH while he was good in the only over he bowled against RCB.
Meanwhile, the pair of Varun Aaron and Oshane Thomas has added some life and teeth into this RR bowling attack. The two fast bowlers have bowled really well at the top and set the tone in the last few games. They’ve bowled fast and have also used their slower ones effectively. Hence, the RR bowling attack looks a lot more balanced than it was at the start of the season.