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Monday, July 22, 2024

RR eye return to winning ways against DC in Guwahati

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Guwahati: With the close loss to Punjab Kings still fresh on their minds, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be eager to get back to winning ways when they head back to the Barsapara Cricket Stadium to take on Delhi Capitals (DC) in an IPL match here on Saturday.

The Men in Pink gave a good account of themselves as IPL made its way to Assam for the first time. Though the result did not go their way, the Sanju Samson-led team put on an inspiring show that made their Head Coach Kumar Sangakkara proud.

“There are only certain things we can control, ” Sangakkara said addressing the team post-match.

“We cannot control conditions, we cannot get frustrated with what is in front of you, we just have to find a way through it. Whether we are bowling, whether we are batting,” he said.

Up against DC, who are yet to win a match in IPL 2023, Samson and the boys, however, will look to seize control early in the 3.30 pm game.

Going by the previous contest, it is fair to say that the pitch at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium is a batsman’s delight.

With even pace and bounce, the ball comes onto the bat well and one can get good value for their shots. But quality bowlers can still reap good dividends on the track as Ravichandran Ashwin and Jason Holder showed against Punjab Kings.

However, dew could be a deciding factor on the night and the captain who wins the toss will definitely have an upper hand.

Kuldeep Yadav has been DC’s key spin bowler for a while now. And on a pitch like the one in Guwahati, their captain David Warner will rely heavily on the chinaman to keep a check on RR’s side that is stacked with quality batsmen.

But a closer look at the numbers does not paint a good picture for Kuldeep. Against the Rajasthan power hitters, he has had his fair share of struggles, with both Jos Buttler and skipper Samson scoring at a commendable rate against the spinner.

This match-up could prove to be a decisive factor as RR will be keen to take the attack to DC and display their batting might before the home spectators.

RR’s batting unit is off to a flier in the IPL. With the top three in Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Samson scoring at will and the likes of Shimron Hetmyer and Dhruv Jurel chipping in with the much-needed runs, they have managed to score big so far.

The bowling unit has not been far behind either. While the spin duo of Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal have done the bulk of the damage, their new recruit Jason Holder has justified his price tag with quality performances in the two matches so far.

The opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad saw Holder announce himself with a sharp catch to dismiss Rahul Tripathi and then produce a disciplined performance with the ball as well. But it was against the Punjab Kings that the West Indian rose to the challenge.

On a track where most of the bowlers were taken to task by the Punjab batsmen, Holder, along with Ashwin, managed to put the breaks on their opponents. Just two matches old, Holder already looks comfortable in Pink and will be looking to put up even better performances for his new team this season.

He came in as an Impact Player in the previous match and left a lasting impression with his quickfire 32 not out. But it remains to be seen if Dhruv Jurel will find a place in the starting XI against DC. And with no news on any injuries from the RR camp, Sangakkara will be keen to take the positives from the last tie when he sits down to name his men for their next challenge.

The match against DC will be Riyan Parag’s 50th match in the IPL and Trent Boult is 6 wickets away from 100 IPL wickets. Buttler is 96 runs away from 3000 runs in IPL.

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