While Delhi have already qualified for the playoffs, Rajasthan’s chances are hanging by a thread. They were unfortunate to see the restricted overs game against Bengaluru to get cancelled in the final stages, in which they seemed to be heading towards a win. Rajasthan need to win today and hope both Hyderabad & Kolkata lose their respective matches that will see them qualify with 13 points. It’s a tough ask, but all they can do is win their match & hope for the best.
The Delhi side have progressed ahead of the group stage for the first time since 2012. Shreyas Iyer’s men still have some worries. Although they have already qualified, they would like to finish on a high going into the playoffs. Another aspect is that they would like to finish in the Top 2 to get the Qualifier 1 advantage. Currently 3rd in the table, they need a big margin win to get a better Net Run Rate to try and finish above Chennai or Mumbai. So two different stories going into the first game of today’s double header, let’s hope for a cracking contest.
Tournament’s highest wicket taker Kagiso Rabada has been ruled out of the remaining campaign with a back problem. Trent Boult who replaced him in the starting lineup was expensive in the last game. Boult & Chris Morris will have to fill the void if Delhi are to do well today. The onus will also be on Axar Patel & Amit Mishra to excel on the slow Kotla pitch. Jagadeesha Sucith had a good debut taking scalps of Watson & Raina in the last game. On the batting front only Dhawan & Iyer have been consistent but even they couldn’t survive the collapse against Chennai. Rishabh Pant & the middle order need to get their act together.
Probable Lineup – Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Jagadeesha Suchith, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult
As Star performers like Buttler, Archer & Smith have already left to prepare for the World Cup, Rajasthan seem under equipped to deal with the task at hand. But their replacements Livingstone, Thomas have come in and done a decent job. Varun Aaron has also shone & Shreyas Gopal has been consistent. Sanju Samson looked dangerous against Bengaluru & almost won them the game only for the rain gods to play spoilsport. Ajinkya Rahane will have to shoulder the responsibility at the top order in the absence of other bigwigs.
Probable Lineup – Ajinkya Rahane (C), Liam Livingstone, Sanju Samson (WK), Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas
Match Prediction – Delhi seem to be stronger on paper & we think they will win this tie.
Saturday 4th May (4pm IST) at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
Warm weather is expected.