Royals look to ease playoffs journey
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
With 12 points from 10 games and a comfortable lead over the three teams vying for the fourth spot, Rajasthan Royals have a fair cushion. But they are still not through to the playoffs and a win against Daredevils could certainly ease their way, given that their next two matches are against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
For a team that earned a reputation for slightly left-field tactics over the last couple of seasons, Royals have mostly stuck to the same combination this season. They experimented heavily against Chennai Super Kings and while their batting changes didn't click, their slower bowlers did run Super Kings close. To gain a lead over others, they may perhaps opt for a steadier order against Daredevils.
Daredevils, meanwhile, have a license to experiment and may just benefit from doing so, particularly with their batting order. A loss to Royals would bring an end to their chances, however technical, of making it to the last four and push them towards a second successive season at the bottom of the table.
Form guide (most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals: LWLWW
Delhi Daredevils: LLLLL
Where they stand
Rajasthan Royals: 3rd, with six wins in 10 games
Delhi Daredevils: Last, with two wins in 10 games
Karun Nair's unbeaten 73 guided Rajasthan Royals to a seven-wicket win the last time the two teams met. It also set off Delhi Daredevils' four-loss streak at home this season.
Watch out for
After an unbeaten 48 in the first game, Stuart Binny's hasn't had too many runs. Batting at No. 5, he's come in mostly with the team needing quick runs and has fallen trying to fulfill his role of a hitter. But when the opportunity came, Binny couldn't capitalise, the case in point being the chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad where Royals capitulated.
Flourishing in the role of a finisher in the side, Kedar Jadhav has been stringing out delightful cameos towards the end of the innings. One of the most impressive batsmen for the franchise this season, there has been plenty of talk of pushing him up the order. Will Daredevils experiment against Royals?
Stats and trivia
- Dinesh Karthik needs 56 more runs to fourth player to score 1000 IPL runs for Delhi Daredevils. Overall, he has 1036 runs for the franchise (including Champions League runs)
- M Vijay, meanwhile, needs 80 more to score 3000 T20 runs.
- Daredevils' highest score against Royals is 188, while their lowest is 87. Royals, on the other hand, have a highest of 192 and a lowest of 121 against Daredevils.
"They are an exciting option for the captain because they give you variations, can change the game quickly and are not loath to trying out different things despite the risk of being hit."
Imran Tahir on the benefits of legspinners playing T20s
Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo