Mumbai, April 21: With eight and six points respectively from six matches, a fit Rajasthan Royals meet a confident Delhi Capitals in a clash of power play chasers in match 34 of IPL 2022 at Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
Prior to this match, which was previously to be held at the MCA Stadium in Pune until six Covid-19 cases in the Delhi camp forced a change of venue, both Delhi and Rajasthan won their last matches at the Brabourne Stadium.
A win for Rajasthan could help them dislodge Gujarat Titans from the top of the table, while a win for Delhi will move them into the top half of the points tally, provided their superior net run rate is not affected. .
While the Rishabh Pant-led side produced a complete show to defeat Punjab Kings by nine wickets, Rajasthan banked on Jos Buttler’s century and Yuzvendra Chahal’s five-fer, including a hat-trick, to outshine Kolkata Knight Riders. for seven runs in a high-scoring thriller.
All four of Rajasthan’s wins at IPL 2022 have come by batting first, going completely against the ‘win, pitch and total chase’ formula. With the bat, Buttler has been a huge contributor, scoring centuries in two wins and is currently the tournament’s leading run scorer with 375 runs at an average of 75.00 and a strike rate of 156.90.
Another major contributor with the bat has been Shimron Hetmyer, who has stepped up to get the job done with aplomb, scoring 223 runs at an average of 74.33 and a strike rate of 179.83. But Rajasthan knows it will need runs from batsmen beyond Buttler and Hetmyer, including captain Sanju Samson, to get big runs.
On the ball, Chahal is the leading wicket taker with 17 wickets and Ravichandran Ashwin keeping the tight scoring rate from the other end despite taking only two wickets, has helped Rajasthan a lot. With Obed McCoy impressing late against Kolkata, it means Rajasthan can put Trent Boult on for new ball duties in the first half of innings on the rebound.
On the other hand, Delhi showed incredible mental toughness to put on impressive shows with bat and ball to finish on the winning side against Punjab. With Prithvi Shaw and David Warner, Delhi has the most dynamic opening pair in the tournament.
While Shaw has scored 217 runs in six games at an average of 36.17 and a strike rate of 170.86, Warner has scored three straight fifty-pointers by racking up 191 runs in four games at an average of 63.67 and a strike rate of 152.80.
But what would worry Delhi would be the batting that comes after Shaw and Warner. Captain Rishabh Pant has made a few cameos but hasn’t been consistent with his stroke play. Rovman Powell, their designated power hitter, has scored just 31 runs in the tournament. Sarfaraz Khan needs to be given a consistent run to show his variety of shots.
In the bowling department, Delhi has hit the nail on the head. Kuldeep Yadav has regained his confidence and his best self in Delhi, picking 13 wickets in six matches at an average of 14.30 and an economy rate of 7.85. In all of Delhi’s victories, Kuldeep has picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award, increasing his confidence and play in a new IPL franchise setup.
Lalit Yadav (four wickets) and Axar Patel (three wickets) have been supporting Kuldeep well with tight displays. In the pace department, lefties rule for Delhi as Khaleel Ahmed (10 wickets) and Mustafizur Rahman (four wickets) have applied the brakes on opposition batsmen.
The match between Delhi and Rajasthan could well come down to who maximizes the power play phase other than the Kuldeep-Chahal and Buttler-Warner duels. In the tournament, Delhi has the best career power play rate with the bat at 9.63, while Rajasthan ranks third at 8.61. With the ball, Rajasthan has the best economy rate on power play at 6.72, while Delhi ranks fourth at 7.63.
Teams (of): Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Sen, Rassie Van der Dussen, James Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Karun Nair, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Tejas Baroka, Anunay Singh, KC Cariappa, Shubham Garhwal, Dhruv Jurel, and Kuldip Yadav.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (C&wk), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Rovman Powell, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Sarfaraz Khan, Ashwin Hebbar, Mandeep Singh, Anrich Nortje , Chetan Sakariya, Lungi Ngidi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Seifert, Pravin Dubey, Ripal Patel, Vicky Ostwal, Yash Dhull, and KS Bharat.
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