The Indian Premier League remains in Dubai on Wednesday when the Delhi Capitals takes on the Rajasthan Royals in what should be a cracking contest as both teams being the second half of their IPL 2020 campaign.
The Capitals go into the match in second place in the table and know they will end the night in top spot if they come out with a win in the contest while the Royals will get themselves right back in the hunt for the top four if they are victorious.
Everything looked to be plain sailing for the Delhi Capitals earlier in the competition. They had won five matches with just the one defeat to their name but then suddenly the worst injury they could have had happened and now there are just one or two question marks over the balance of the side. Rishabh Pant being injured means that they needed to bring Alex Carey in to keep wicket which in turn meant that Shimron Hetmyer had to make way and all of a sudden an explosive middle order has a couple of undercooked players in it.
That showed immediately when the Capitals were well beaten by the Mumbai Indians last time out in a match they were never really in the running in. To be fair to them they battled hard to defend an inadequate score but they just didn’t have enough runs on the board. The onus is now on Carey and Rahane to find their form as quickly as possible so that the Capitals can get back to winning ways but as pitches get harder to bat on that won’t be easy.
It hasn’t been the season that the Rajasthan Rooyals would have wanted but clearly they were lifted by the return of Ben Stokes in their last match and they will hope that his inclusion sees them finish the season strongly and book their pathway into the top four. It was an interesting move to open the batting with him and it will be intriguing to see if that is a move they persist with in order to take advantage of batting against the new ball.
Slowly but surely Rajasthan are coming into line in this competition. In the early stages teams could sit on Jofra Archer and feed on the rest of the bowlers but with the new ball and powerplay being so important that is no longer the case, and Stokes coming back means that the Royals have another bowling option so that they don’t need four overs from someone who is going around the park. With a couple of youngsters beginning to impress too the Royals shouldn’t be counted out.
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Given that the middle order has suddenly got a light look about it in terms of form, the innings of Marcus Stoinis is likely to be even more significant. He has batted beautifully in this tournament and his bowling has been a nice bonus for the Delhi Capitals as well.
After being ridiculed earlier in the tournament for not being able to get the ball off the square, Rahul Tewatia is becoming quite an important player for the Rajasthan Royals. His cameo got them home in the last match and he impressed with bat and ball in the first game against the Capitals.
I think there are one or two question marks over what looked like a bulletproof Delhi Capitals side until the RIshabh Pant injury struck and it will be interesting to see if their poor display last time out was purely due to the short notice between the injury and that match. They have had a few days to come up with plans in his absence so all eyes will be on them here. They will also be on the Rajasthan Royals to see if their win on Sunday was a freak display or the start of a sustained burst of form.
While we are watching that the bet I like in this match is under 38.5 boundaries. This is the same ground we took under 39.5 on in Tuesday’s game and the pitch slowed up dramatically enough that there was never a danger of that target failing and you would think that 24hrs on with the heat and humidity in this part of the world the pitch is only going to be slower and harder to score off. All of a sudden there is a doubt over both middle orders while both bowling attacks look more than competent now. Under 38.5 boundaries will do for me.
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