Plenty of Royals have been in action over the past few days; they have thrilled fans with some exhilarating performances across formats around the world. From the blitz of the Big Bash to the hard-yards of Ranji Cricket to some gruelling International Cricket, the Rajasthan Royals’ men have been in some fine form. We look at some of the standout displays from the Royals over the past few days:
Steve Smith: 98 & 131 vs India
Steve Smith was back at his scintillating best in the recently concluded one-day series against India. Smith looked assured and comfortable as he made a vibrant 98 in the chase at Rajkot. His first innings since the World Cup semi-final against England, the Rajasthan Royals skipper was quick to remind audiences around the world of his skills and attributes in the white ball game. Smith held the Australian chase together and put together some good partnerships before playing on to Kuldeep Yadav.
The sparkling 98 at Rajkot was followed by an assiduous 131 in Bengaluru. Coming in early at no. 3, Smith showed patience in dealing with the set plans of short-pitched bowling, effectively playing the anchor role for Australia. Unlike Rajkot, though, he went a step further, scoring a century amidst some turn and regular wickets that fell at the other end. Smith’s unflinching knocks came in at important times for Australia, knocks that have firmly re-established his hunger and his aura in the limited-over format.
Jaydev Unadkat: 5/49 vs Karnataka
Jaydev Unadkat continued his brilliant form in the domestic season for Saurashtra. Unadkat picked up a five-for against Ranjit Trophy giants, Karnataka to seal Saurashtra’s position in the game. The impact of his spell was so strong that despite a second-innings resurgence, Karnataka could not recover in the game. Unadkat has the knack of bringing out his top game against some of the best teams in the tournament and he proved it once again.
Tom Curran: 4/22 and 21
Tom Curran had a brilliant all-round performance for Sidney Sixers against Adelaide Strikers. Bowling first, Curran took the key wicket of a set and dangerous-looking Jake Weatherald early on to halt the Strikers’ progress. He then came on late in the innings with strikes in the death, restricting Adelaide Strikers to just 135. With the bat, Curran was both impressive and mature, scoring a vital 21 off 20 balls to take his side home in a crunch low scoring game. Rightly earning him the player of the match award.
Riyan Parag: 60 and 6/142
Riyan Parag’s execution in Assam’s game against Chhattisgarh was a testament to his cricketing ability and his overall impact on the game. Riyan scored a quick 60 off 87 to help secure a vital first innings lead of 146 runs. Parag was equally instrumental with the ball, picking up six wickets in the match. The Rajasthan Royals youngster’s all-round display in the game helped Assam edge out Chhattisgarh, 3 to 1 on points.
Ben Stokes: 120 vs South Africa:
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Ben Stokes was once again able to show his mental prowess during his innings binding 120 at Port Elizabeth. Stokes came into bat at a crucial juncture in the match with England looking to score a big first innings score. The Rajasthan Royals all-rounder was able to stitch an excellent partnership with Ollie Pope, scoring a ton and accumulating 203 runs for the fifth-wicket. His commanding knock paved the way for England to take an unassailable lead of 2-1 in the test series.
Shashank Singh: 71 vs Assam, 73 vs Tripura
Back to back half-centuries for Shashank Singh in the on-going Ranji Trophy for Chhattisgarh! A responsible 71 against Assam was followed by a wonderful 73 against Tripura under some trying circumstances. The innings showcased some good application and determination from Singh as he made sure the Chhattisgarh batting line-up was progressing around him and did not lose out on tournament points.
David Miller: 90(48) vs Adelaide Strikers
It was coming, it was coming alright! David Miller’s 90 off 48 deliveries for Hobart Hurricanes was due big time. And boy was it good. Through his knock, Miller managed to keep the Hurricanes in the hunt almost all by himself. The innings had almost everything one would expect of an explosive David Miller outing. The Hobart fans were treated to some humungous strikes all around the park in an innings which had eight boundaries and five maximums. Hobart might have fallen short on the day but Miller’s effort with the bat is sure to be a massive boost to the team and himself.
Manan Vohra: 102 vs Goa
Another day, another fine Ranji batting display from Manan Vohra. The Chandigarh captain has been in supreme touch in the domestic circuit this term. Having already played some fine knocks this season, Vohra was able to continue his fine run, against Goa. Batting at no.3, Vohra was able to score 102 at a good pace and through his partnership with Bhambri was able to take the game away from Goa.
U-19 World Cup:
Yashasvi Jaiswal 59 vs Sri Lanka:
Yashasvi Jaiswal’s start to the U-19 World Cup was as crisp as they come. Stroking the ball with ease around the park, Jaiswal provided India with the perfect start in the World Cup. Yashasvi helped form a steady 66-run opening stand followed by a decent second-wicket stand to build a foundation that helped India post a solid 297, eventually helping them ease to a big 90-run win first up.
Kartik Tyagi & Akash Singh: 1/27 & 2/29 respectively
Both the Rajasthan Royals’ young quicks were able to make an immediate mark in the opening fixture of the U-19 World Cup. Both Tyagi and Singh showed immaculate control and discipline, finishing with impressive figures and economy rates of under four. The pacers’ bowling efforts meant that Sri Lanka could never really get ahead of the asking rate and were under pressure throughout the chase.
The cricketing action continues for the Rajasthan Royals boys as the games come thick and fast. The Indian U-19 side continue their World Cup. England will be looking to win the Test series against South Africa as the 4th Test approaches. On the domestic front, the Ranji Trophy will continue with its next set of fixtures. The big news, however, could be the return of skipper Steve Smith for Sidney Sixers after a gap of six years. The excitement continues as we yearn for more cricket and more of such performances by the Royals.