In Delhi for their second leg games, the Royals will have a perfect opportunity on Sunday to bounce back when they next face Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who too are struggling at the bottom of the IPL standings.
Desperate for a turnaround, SRH sacked David Warner on the eve of the match, and handed over the reigns to Kane Williamson for the remainder of the IPL 2021. The franchise has also stated in the media release on Saturday that ‘the team management has also made the decision that they will be changing their overseas combination for tomorrow’s (Sunday) match against Rajasthan Royals.’
In the last few days, Warner’s strike rate has become a talking point as his natural instinct of playing aggressive cricket has been glaringly missing. His recent scores of 57 off 55 balls, 6 off 8 balls, 37 off 37 balls and 36 off 34 balls show the spark is missing. With major shake-up in place, it is likely that the Australian batsman might even lose his spot in the playing XI. England opener Jason Roy or West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder are likely to fill the fourth overseas spot for SRH.
Operating with limited resources after four big names withdrew from the tournament, Samson does not have much choice left but to operate smartly with what is available. In their last match against Mumbai Indians, the biggest positive was they did not lose any wickets in the powerplay, but what hurt Royals was sending Shivam Dube ahead of David Miller and Riyan Parag before Rahul Tewatia. After a good start, the innings lost its pace in the absence of an attacking intent.
After the seven-wicket loss to MI, the Royals captain made it clear what he expects from his batsmen — to play ‘fearless and positive cricket’.
As Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s availability remains doubtful, Warner’s Orange Army will be highly dependent on leg-spinner Rashid Khan from Afghanistan. In fast bowlers Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed and Siddharth Kaul, SRH lack the experience.
This is a department where Royals are better placed in comparison to Sunrisers as seasoned Chris Morris and greenhorn Chetan Sakariya have been delivering the goods consistently. Quite late, but finally this year Jaydev Unadkat too has found ways to be effective in the IPL. Include Mustafizur Rahaman and RR are comfortable without a full-time spinner in the playing XI.
Having started their campaign with two losses on the trot, SRH registered a dominant win against Punjab Kings, and again endured two back-to-back losses.