Rajasthan would undoubtedly be bolstered by return of Ben Stokes. Although the all-rounder looked rusty against SRH, and could not contribute much, his presence is expected to make a big difference to Royals’ chances. Their top three need to start firing though. Jos Buttler has played only one innings of note while skipper Steve Smith and Sanju Samson have gone completely off-boil following their exploits in the first two matches at Sharjah
Had it not been for that man Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag, RR looked set to go down to SRH as well. Rajasthan also need to figure out what must be done about Robin Uthappa. He has the experience, but has been constantly misfiring. The story is similar in the bowling where Jofra Archer has been single-handedly trying to keep the team in touch. The others need to pull their socks up quickly.
Delhi will need to regroup fast following their five-wicket loss to Mumbai. DC just did not look in any sort of rhythm against the defending champions. Even though they lost only four wickets, 162 was all they managed to put up on the board. It did not help that the injury to Rishabh Pant forced DC to drop Shimron Hetmyer and bring in Alex Carey. Shikhar Dhawan’s return to form will be a welcome relief for the management although they would want him to score at a quicker pace.
In the bowling, Kagiso Rabada seems to be going from strength to strength, and already has 17 wickets so far. Another South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje has also excelled as his partner. Ravichandran Ashwin has been at his wily best with the ball, and left-spinner Axar Patel has provided him solid support.
Head-to-Head Record: Delhi and Rajasthan have taken on each other in 21 games with Delhi winning 10 and Rajasthan 11.
DC Predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Alex Carrey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, A Nortje
RR probable XI: Steve Smith, Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson, Manan Vohra, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat
Batting is not all that easy at Dubai with something for both pacers and spinners. The team batting first must post a decent target.
The temperature will be around 30 degree Celsius. It will be pleasant in the night as the game progresses.
--Renin Wilben Albert