It will be a moment to savour for skipper Sanju Samson when he takes the field against Delhi Capitals to play his 100th IPL match for the Royals.
Our last match against Kolkata Knight Riders put up the perfect exhibition of a box-office T20 contest, with the oohs and aahs after every ball reverberating through the stands of Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium. It was the stuff that dreams are made of. Time and again, the Royals have displayed their gritty ability to bounce back from the toughest of situations and it has given us some unforgettable moments in the season so far. As fans, these incredible fightbacks and winning memories are what we live for.
The spotlight will be on captain Sanju, who is set to play his 100th IPL match for the Royals. In 99 IPL games across eight seasons, Sanju has scored over 2500 runs and has been one of the strongest pillars in the Royals setup. With the kind of starts he’s been getting this season, he will be hoping to make the landmark a memorable one, as a batter and as the Royals leader.
With four wins in six games, we are in third place on the points table with an NRR of 0.380. We now proceed to take on Delhi Capitals in our seventh match of the season. The match was originally set to be played at the MCA Stadium in Pune. However, a sudden Covid-19 outbreak in the Delhi camp has resulted in a change of venue for this clash.
Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals - 22 April 2022
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
7:30 PM IST
The last time we played at the Wankhede Stadium, Shimron Hetmyer’s heroics with the bat and Yuzvendra Chahal’s spin prowess guided us to a thrilling win against Lucknow. Delhi have played a solitary game at this ground so far, and it has ended in a loss. This season, the average first-innings score here is 158 - the lowest among all four venues in IPL 2022. Defending a total has been quite challenging at this venue in general, but the Royals have found most of their success batting first across all grounds. The pitch continues to favour the fast bowlers in terms of wickets, while the spinners have been more on the economical side.
Both teams have faced off in 24 IPL matches over the years. The rivalry has been neck and neck, with both Delhi and the Royals winning 12 games each. In IPL 2021, the Royals drew first blood and Delhi followed with a win in the reverse fixture. Incidentally, our last win against Delhi came at the same venue. Let the winning memories take over!
Player battles to watch
Trent Boult vs Prithvi Shaw
5 innings, 19 runs scored, 3 dismissals - Trent Boult has a clear upper hand against Prithvi Shaw going into this encounter. The Delhi opener has struggled against the left-arm pace of Boult, averaging just 6.3 in T20s. Boult had a rare off-day in the last match, so he will be raring to go against Delhi. On the other hand, Shaw is coming off a decent outing in his last game. This face-off has all the makings of a riveting Powerplay.
Shimron Hetmyer vs Khaleel Ahmed
The big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer has scored 44 runs in the four T20 innings that he has played against pacer Khaleel Ahmed, with a strike rate of 200. The Wankhede Stadium is Shimron’s favourite ground when it comes to hitting sixes. He has smashed eight sixes in two matches so far - the most by any batter at the venue this season. With an average of 14 sixes scored per game at Wankhede, we could be in for another big treat from Hettie.
The Royals made three changes to their line-up in the last game, and the combination clicked as they won the match against KKR. A calm and composed Obed McCoy delivered the match-winning final over and ended up with two wickets on his Royals debut. Trent Boult returned after recovering from his niggle, while Karun Nair played his first game of the season. With no other visible injury concerns or official news from the camp, we’ll have to wait for the Playing XI until the toss tomorrow.
This will be Sanju Samson’s 100th IPL match for the Royals
The skipper has another milestone waiting - he is 6 short of completing 150 sixes in the IPL
Ravichandran Ashwin needs 3 wickets to reach 150 IPL wickets
Karun Nair is one six away from 100 sixes in T20s
Shimron Hetmyer has hit 48 sixes so far. If he hits the next two sixes in 13 deliveries, he’ll be the third-quickest to 50 IPL sixes (balls faced)