The Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals will be desperate to grab the two points available for the taking in Match 53 of VIVO IPL 2019.
The Delhi Capitals have a confirmed playoff berth; it is the first time since 2012 that the Delhi franchise would have progressed beyond the league stage of the competition. However, should two or three teams finish the league season tied on 18 points, then the top two positions will be decided on the basis of net run rate. DC, whose NRR took a severe beating following the loss to the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday night, have the poorest net run rate among all the contenders; their NRR currently stands at -0.096, and they need a massive win for that factor to improve.
The Delhi Capitals have been dealt a major blow heading into the business end of the tournament with Kagiso Rabada being ruled out because of injury. The South African pacer, the top wicket-taker in the competition, was particularly good in the death overs. The Delhi Capitals missed Rabada’s skills in the previous match against CSK; captain Shreyas Iyer, coach Ricky Ponting and the rest of the management group now have to identify who among the quicks in the team can do the job the 23-year old did so well.
For the Rajasthan Royals it is the last throw of the dice; after rain denied them the opportunity of garnering two points against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday night, RR are left facing a situation where they need to beat the Delhi Capitals and hope all other results will turn out in their favour.
The Royals will be handicapped by the departure of their captain Steve Smith, and therefore the management have had to lean back towards Ajinkya Rahane to lead the team. RR fielded only three overseas players in their playing XI in the previous match; however, there’s a good likelihood that they will field the four overseas players available to them in this match. Liam Livingstone and Oshane Thomas should keep their places, while Ashton Turner and Ish Sodhi can be expected to be recalled.
4 May 2019, 4pm IST
Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi
Previous Match XIs:
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Sherfane Rutherford, Chris Morris, J Suchith, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson, Liam Livingstone, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Mahipal Lomror, Oshane Thomas, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron.
The Delhi Capitals will want at least one of Shikhar Dhawan or Shreyas Iyer to get a big score. From a batting perspective, the conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground have generally been very demanding; Dhawan and Shreyas have the experience, the skill, the technique and the temperament to score runs on such difficult surfaces.
Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone and Sanju Samson hold the key to the Rajasthan Royals posting big totals. In the absence of Steve Smith, the Royals will need one of Rahane or Samson to bat deep and get close to three figures if possible. Livingstone has the best strike-rate in the Royals’ top-order, and is best equipped to put the opposition bowlers under pressure early on.
The Royals will bank on Oshane Thomas to cause damage with his pace and back of length deliveries, and hope the leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal can utilise the spin friendly conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground to his advantage.
Head to Head in Indian Premier League
Overall: Matches – 19, Delhi Capitals – 8, Rajasthan Royals – 11.
Both teams will only know what the future holds for them at the conclusion of the league stage. If the Delhi Capitals finish in the top two, they will travel to Chennai to play Qualifier 1, scheduled on May 7. The Eliminator – featuring the third and fourth placed teams – is scheduled to be played in Visakhapatnam on May 8.