Rajasthan look to inch closer to play-off berth

Rajasthan look to inch closer to play-off berth

Rajasthan Royals will look to close in on a play-off berth and consolidate their position in the points table when they take on a struggling Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, here on Tuesday.

Daredevils were routed by Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets in their previous encounter as their big-ticket stars once again failed to fire and folded up for a pathetic 80 runs, the second lowest total of the season after CSK’s 79 against Mumbai Indians.

Daredevils were living dangerously over the past few weeks with a couple of victories just about keeping their campaign alive in the tournament. But their chances are as good as over after they dished out yet another horrendous batting display. Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene and David Warner went out cheaply against Hyderabad but what was more surprising to watch was their atrocious shot selection.

Daredevils had included two overseas all-rounders, Johan Botha and Jeevan Mendis, into their playing XI against Sunrisers to turn around their ebbing fortunes but the move did not produce the desired result. Only four of the Delhi batsmen managed to touch the double-digit mark in what can only be described as a meek surrender.

Considering there is nothing to lose in the matches ahead with just six points from 11 matches, the Daredevils will look to play party poopers and upset the applecart of the Royals. The last time the two sides met on April 6 at the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium, Kevon Cooper had bowled a sensational final over, picking up two crucial wickets, to hand Rajasthan a thrilling five-run win over the hosts.

Revenge would be on top of Daredevils’ agenda but given their poor run in the competition and Royals ‘home’ record — six wins out of six games — the script is most likely to remain the same for the hosts. Royals, high on confidence after chasing down a challenging 179-run target against a hapless Pune Warriors the other night, will leave no stone unturned to win this crucial game and make a confident surge towards a play-off berth.

Royals are tied with RCB, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers, all of them having 14 points. The way their inspirational captain Rahul Dravid led from the front against Pune with a classy half-century, has certainly helped the hosts.

Star watch

* AJINKYA RAHANE: He may not have been the same force for the Royals as he was in the last edition. He has struggled for consistency but as he showed against Pune, the right-hander makes his performances count. Royals will rely on him to provide another good start against Delhi.   

* DAVID WARNER: His inconsistency with the bat has had a major say in Delhi not performing, but whenever the left-hander has delivered, it has made big difference to his team’s fortunes. With their play-off chances over, Daredevils will bank on the opener to salvage some pride.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
Comments (+)