Weds 11 April 2018 8:00 PM
Rajasthan Royals vs. Delhi Daredevils
The Omens Are Good For The Royals’ First Victory!
The Royals will be looking to bounce back from their first game defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad when they take on old rivals Delhi Daredevils in the sixth fixture of IPL 2018. The Sawai Mansingh Stadium will be the venue – also known as Fortress Jaipur! We have a fantastic record on our home ground – let’s hope that continues on Wednesday evening.
Rajasthan Royals also has a great record against the Daredevils, having defeated them 10 times out of 16 in the Indian Premier League. In fact, we have won the last six games against DD in a row, what a run!
Delhi Daredevils has won just one out of the four matches they’ve played against Rajasthan Royals at Fortress Jaipur – so the omens are good for us this time round. Although the Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi Daredevils are a strong unit, the Rajasthan Royals will justifiably fancy their chances. A repeat of our emphatic victory in the IPL Semi Final of 2008 would go down nicely!
However, to achieve that goal, our batsmen and our bowlers will need to improve on their opening match performances. No batsman except Sanju Samson exceeded the 20-run mark and our bowlers managed to pick up just one wicket between them during Hyderabad's successful chase. Key players Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, D'Arcy Short, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler form the core of the team's batting - and they will be looking to dominate the Delhi attack just as they have vanquished formidable bowlers all round the world in the past. Short was one of the best scorers in the 2017-18 Australian Big Bash League, while England stars Stokes and Buttler have justified reputations for scoring runs at a rapid rate. They need to adjust to the local conditions quickly though – and the Jaipur pitch can be trickier to master than most.
Rajasthan’s fast bowlers Ben Laughlin and Jaydev Unadkat will most likely be the ‘go-to’ men when it comes to securing early wickets and later on containing the Delhi batting order. Jaydev was the second-highest wicket-taker in last season’s IPL and we will be backing him to do some early damage with the new ball this time round too.
Up against them will be an impressive Delhi batting line up. Daredevil openers Colin Munro and Gautam Gambhir will be key to them making a good start. When he is on song, Munro can put opposing bowlers to the sword, while hugely experienced Gambhir is expert at keeping the scoreboard ticking. The India legend scored a fifty in Delhi’s first match against Kings XI – and Rishabh Pant also performed well in that fixture hitting 28.
As far as the Delhi attack is concerned, South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been ruled out of the tournament with a back injury, so the Daredevils have enlisted England paceman Liam Plunkett as his replacement. Like his compatriots Buttler and Stokes, Plunkett will have to get acclimatised quickly to have any impact on this match. He will be backed up by tall New Zealander Trent Boult. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra will be the Daredevils' main man after the powerplay – the Royals middle order (if required!) will need to master his tricky twirling if they are to boost the total to a competitive figure.
The statistics say that the Royals playing Delhi in our stronghold is the ideal opportunity for us to get back to winning ways – let’s hope the maths is correct and adds up to the Royals getting 2 points in the bag!
Teams’ Form in their Last Five Matches (most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals: L L W L L
Delhi Daredevils: L L W W L
Toss Prediction for this fixture
The challenging wicket at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium tends to help bowlers open more early doors. The last five T20 matches played here have all been won by the side that fields first. Depending on weather conditions, the skipper that wins the toss in this match will probably decide to bowl first, however, the groundsman hasn’t prepared an IPL track since 2015, so he may have some surprises up his sleeve!
RR vs. DD Head to Head in Previous IPLs
Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils have faced each other 16 times in the history of the IPL with the Royals emerging victorious ten times. Their most recent encounter was in 2015 when the Royals won by 14 runs.