A change in playing XI resulted in change in fortune. The Rajasthan Royals (RR) would be wondering why they delayed the combination rejig, and will hope there is no looking back. It took them long, but against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Royals finally dropped the non-performers and achieved an upset by five wickets.
The spectacular chase will give Sanju Samson & Co the much-needed impetus going into an important clash against Mumbai Indians (MI) in Sharjah on Tuesday. Just like RR, Rohit Sharma‘s team is also in a desperate situation to win with only one playoff spot up for grabs. Both the teams have 10 points each with the former placed sixth and the latter seventh on the points table.
With Yashasvi Jaiswal, Evin Lewis and Samson at the top, Royals can once again expect a quality start to the innings. The area of concern, their middle-order, which looked weightier after the inclusion of Shivam Dube and Glenn Phillips, will again be under focus.
Against CSK, Dube’s 64 not out off 42 balls was destructive while Phillips’ breezy cameo of 14 not out off 8 balls gave the glimpse of the potential that is starting to unfurl. Royals’ hope will be riding on what everyone saw of them three nights back.
Surely, Samson would concur with Dube who said that they have got ‘good confidence from this game’. “Finishing this game at this stage was important. We are confident now,” Dube had said after his match-winning knock.
Defending champions MI, with an array of stars in the squad, are currently a pale shadow of the team everyone has seen dominating season after season. They have only managed to register one win in the last five matches, and clearly they do not have the momentum.
But moving ahead, a good sign for MI is Suryakumar Yadav’s latest innings of 33 off 26 balls. Their bowling coach Shane Bond believes Yadav’s outing against Delhi Capitals indicated he was “getting that fluency and looked like the way he played last season.”
Rohit will at least be confident about his bowling unit which is more experienced and superior to that of RR.
It will be RR’s first game in Sharjah while MI’s second in the second leg. If Bond’s words are anything to go by, MI will “not change the plan much.” They would rather hope “batsmen convert the starts they get, while bowlers eliminate free balls and make it tough for the opposition.”