With 6 points in 4 matches and a NRR of 0.951, the Royals are sitting atop the IPL 2022 points table.
Smiles, cheers, applause and some valuable words of appreciation from Kumar Sangakkara - the Royals dressing room on Sunday night was filled with happy faces savouring the taste of a hard-fought victory. Once again, the team’s all-round show was on display, with players rising to the occasion at key moments, irrespective of where they batted and when they bowled. Shimron Hetmyer’s consistency continues to give us solidity at the death, while there just seems to be something so right about Yuzvendra Chahal playing in pink! Debutant Kuldeep Sen made his mark, stepping up under pressure to deliver a match-winning final over.
Next up, we lock horns with Gujarat Titans in our fifth match of the season.
Rajasthan Royals vs Gujarat Titans - 14 April 2022
Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy, Navi Mumbai
7:30 PM IST
Both teams have played one match each at the DY Patil Stadium in IPL 2022. The Royals triumphed over Mumbai Indians here in their second game, while Gujarat Titans lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous outing. This is a high-scoring ground, with the average first-innings total this year being 172. Teams batting second have won five of the eight games played here so far. The Royals though have made a habit out of defending totals, irrespective of the toss and venue.
This will be the first-ever match between the Royals and Gujarat in the IPL.
Player Battles to watch
Ravichandran Ashwin vs David Miller
David Miller has faced R Ashwin in 13 T20 innings, the most by any batter in the Gujarat line-up. Ashwin has found success against the southpaw, getting rid of him on three instances and giving away just 75 runs at an average of 25. The off-spinner was the Royals’ most economical bowler against Lucknow and didn’t concede a single boundary in his spell. He’ll be looking to keep a tight lid on Gujarat’s run-scoring.
Jos Buttler vs Hardik Pandya
Jos Buttler enjoys batting against Hardik Pandya, having scored 70 runs in the 41 deliveries he has faced, at a strike rate of 171. The Orange Cap holder has scored the most boundaries (30) among opening batters this year, including hitting the most sixes (8) in the Powerplay. Interestingly, Hardik is yet to dismiss Jos in T20s. This is the same venue where Jos scored the first century of IPL 2022, which came against Mumbai. Fancy a repeat, Jos? 🤞
The Royals made a couple of changes to their Playing XI in the last game, bringing in Rassie van der Dussen and Kuldeep Sen in place of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Navdeep Saini. Devdutt Padikkal opened the innings alongside Jos, while Rassie swapped places with skipper Sanju Samson at No.4. No further team news has emerged since then, so will the management retain the winning combination or look at other options on the bench?
Did you know?
Four of Gujarat’s batters at the top and in the middle order have fallen to Chahal at least once in T20s. Shubman Gill, Wade and Hardik have all been dismissed once each, while David Miller has been Yuzi’s No.1 victim - having succumbed to his leg-spin thrice.
Chahal has also taken more wickets bowling leg-breaks than any other spinner in IPL history. He is just 4 wickets short of taking 100 wickets off his stock delivery.
Most wickets off leg-breaks in IPL
Devdutt Padikkal needs 2 more runs to complete 1000 runs in the IPL
Ravichandran Ashwin is 4 shy of 150 IPL wickets
Sanju Samson is 3 runs away from completing 2500 IPL runs for the Royals
Which Royal are you looking forward to watching in action? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @rajasthanroyals or with me @arey_yaar