After releasing skipper Ajinkya Rahane from his duty mid-season and placing in Steven Smith as their captain for the rest of the season, Rajasthan Royals saw a change in their fortune with a win against high-flying Mumbai. Delhi, on the other hand, saw a spirited performance from Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer to move to the third position after defeating Punjab by 5 wickets.
If Rajasthan are to win the match, they will surge ahead to sixth position eclipsing KKR. Delhi, on the other hand, would move to the top of the table if they defeat Rajasthan. Since Butler has traveled back to England, Rajasthan are to field the same side. Delhi, on the other hand, would rope in Chris Morris in place of Sherfane Rutherford.
Rajasthan Royals (Probable XI): Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (WK), Steve Smith (C), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.
Delhi Capitals (Probable XI): Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane.
Steve Smith vs Kagiso Rabada
Things are starting to fall in place for former Australian skipper Steven Smith. After having been drafted in the Australian squad for 2019 Cricket World Cup, Smith was also named as the skipper for Rajasthan Royals midway through the season. Averaging 49 this season, Smith has scored 245 runs with two fifties to his name. In his overall IPL career, Smith has amassed more than 1948 runs at an average of 38.19. With a career S/R of 128.66, the Rajasthan skipper also has 7 fifties and 1 century to his name.
Already picking up 21 wickets in 10 matches, Rabada averages an astonishing 14.28 in IPL 12. His breath-taking performance in the super over against KKR helped Delhi register their second win of the season. He has 27 IPL career wickets in 16 matches with an average of 18.07. He further has an economy rate of 8.08 and is certainly the go-to bowler for DC skipper, Shreyas Iyer, when in need of wickets.
Jofra Archer vs Shreyas Iyer
Jofra Archer is one name who is making waves in the United Kingdom for quite some time now. The talented Caribbean born English player has qualified for English Cricket Team and is all set to debut for them against Pakistan in May. In the 2018 IPL season, Archer impressed all by picking up 15 wickets in mere 10 matches and is thus expected to be one of the key bowlers for Rajasthan this season too.
With 11 wickets in 9 matches, Jofra has not only been a wicket-taker but has been exceptionally economical as well. With an economy rate of 6.62 and average of 21.09, the Capitals would have to negate him intelligently if they have to dictate the game against RR.
Arguably the most consistent batsman for Delhi this season, the skipper has amassed 327 runs in 10 games this season with an impressive average of 36.33. He is one of the pillars of the Delhi batting line-up along with Rishabh Pant and is often seen playing the anchor-man role for his team.
He averages 31.53 in 56 matches after having scored 1545 IPL career runs, all at an S/R of 127.26. With 12 fifties to his name, he also has the highest score of 96 that came in the year 2017. With 4 games still remaining for Delhi, one can expect Shreyas Iyer to break the shackles to help his team qualify for the Qualifiers.
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Considering the wicket in Rajasthan has been slow and assists spinners, one expects Delhi to win the match as they have quality spinners such as Axar Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane and Amit Mishra. However, if the team batting first scores in excess of 170 which is highly impossible this season in Jaipur, then they are sure shot to win the match.
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