Before their last game, Delhi would have surely walked into this game as red-hot favourites, on the back of their three-match winning streak and Rajasthan’s three-match losing streak. Both of them are now on the back of a contrasting result, with DC losing their last game while RR won theirs.
Rajasthan Royals - W L L L L
Rajasthan Royals walk into their second clash against Delhi Capitals this season on a high, following their impressive heist against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous outing. After being termed as done and dusted in the first ten overs of the run-chase, the partnership between Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag helped them come back from a miserable position, to an improbable victory against the flying Sunrisers. However, the prime issue still is their dependency on the top-order, consisting of the likes of Ben Stokes, Steve Smith and Jos Buttler. Sanju Samson hasn’t fired in three innings, which is another concern for them walking into this game.
Delhi Capitals - L W W W L
One of their wretched nightmares has finally happened, Delhi’s momentum with their stable batting unit has been broken, with the injury to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. With Pant ruled out of this game as well, Delhi have no choice but to look at Australian keeper Alex Carey to fill the position, which eliminates Shimron Hetmyer’s presence yet again from the middle-order. While they did replace Hetmyer with Ajinkya Rahane, the latter’s fire-power isn’t quite on the same level to the Windies batsman, making them four-of-a-kind at the top of the order. They would need their openers to fire straight away, with Iyer accelerating the innings from the word go if they want a win against the Royals.
Rajasthan Royals - Steve Smith
Jos Buttler has remained a key batter, so has Sanju Samson but none more valuable to this batting unit than the experienced Steve Smith. He’s the skipper, he has led the side in the past but his current form has put his place in the team under immense threat. From a batting point of view as well, his form has been a real worry for the top-order, with the franchise opting to trust the likes of Robin Uthappa and Sanju Samson in the middle-order. In seven games, he has only scored 162 runs, at an average of 23.14 but he just needs one game before returning to his fiery-form. Against Delhi, in front of a quality pace attack, Smith has the real opportunity to clear the front leg and plant his name on the newspapers.
Delhi Capitals - Shreyas Iyer
Let’s make this column rather easy, Delhi are without one of their best players in the form of Rishabh Pant, who was a key to this Delhi outfit. In his place, they have brought in Alex Carey which meant that Shimron Hetmyer missed out. So in all, it puts a load of pressure on Shreyas Iyer, who is not only bolstering the responsibility of leading the side but also will need to marshall the batting unit. Rahane, Dhawan and Carey are of the same kind, who take their time before unleashing, which essentially puts Iyer on a skater to start off proceedings in a quick manner. If they are looking to post a big score on board, they would need their skipper - their highest run-scorer this season to continue his batting form.
Rajasthan Royals - Rahul Tewatia
He’s well-known now for finishing the innings as a batsman, having scored 189 runs for the franchise, with just Sanju Samson scoring more runs than him in this season. However, with the ball too, he has rather gone unnoticed, in the presence of a towering Jofra Archer this season. Archer indeed has picked up the bulk of the wickets but against Delhi, it might very well be another one of those freak shows from the leg-spinner, who was previously part of the Delhi outfit. He knows all of them quite well, which would only make this contest enticing. He’s already picked up five wickets this season and in this contest, the Haryana leg-spinner would be looking to add to his wickets tally.
Delhi Capitals - Kagiso Rabada
For Delhi, look no further than the Proteas big-man Kagiso Rabada, who walks into this contest on the back of a terrible show or at least according to his standards, against a dominant Mumbai Indians side. He will surely be lingering his sadness around the game, wanting to start strongly against the Rajasthan outfit, who lose a wicket every 15th delivery. In terms of numbers, Rabada has picked up 17 wickets this season, six more than his closest competitor - Jasprit Bumrah, at an average of 12.52, which only means he will strike early yet again.
RR: Jos Buttler (wk), Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
Venue: Dubai Cricket Stadium, Dubai
When to Watch: Oct 14, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)