Delhi Capitals continued their fine run in IPL 2020 thus far as they registered their sixth win against Rajasthan Royals. The Shreyas Iyer-led DC unit got the better of their rivals by 13 runs, and just need a win more to seal their playoffs berth.
Here are the talking points from the game.
RR needed 39 in 30 – How were they unable to cross the line?
Rajasthan, chasing 162 for a win, would have fancied their chances when they needed 39 off the last five overs for their fourth win of the season. However, they could score just 25 off the last 30 balls despite the presence of a set Robin Uthappa and dangerous Rahul Tewatia at the crease. While Delhi need to be applauded for their bowling effort, RR were too defensive in the latter half of the innings after Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson took the team close.
They failed to go after Ravi Ashwin and were caught napping while running between the wickets. Robin Uthappa ran out in-form Riyan Parag, Tewatia was furious with Uthappa for refusing singles and Shreyas Gopal missed the chance to run a three at one point. The side had accounted for the overs of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje at the end and had bought the equation down to just over 7 in the last five by attacking Axar Patel and debutant Tushar Deshpande earlier on. However, the side that had chased down 224 a few weeks ago, committed hara-kiri in the end and lost a game they should have won.
#RR have left too much for their questionable middle-order in the last six games after their two wins in Sharjah.
39/3 vs KKR
31/3 vs RCB
12/3 vs MI
82/5 vs DC
26/3 vs SRH
97/4 vs RR (today)
For a top-heavy side those are depressing results.#DCvRR
— Stat Doctor🩺 (@stat_doctor) October 14, 2020
Should DC get in Shimron Hetmyer in the absence of Pant?
The Delhi team too were at least 15 runs short in their innings. After a great start, they were targeting anything around 175 but the side could manage only 32 in the last five overs. The absence of Rishabh Pant is being adversely felt for two reasons. The wicket-keeper is one of the greatest finishers in the IPL, and, secondly, the DC team have to drop Shimron Hetmyer to slot in Alex Carey, a wicket-keeper, in the XI. While the Aussie is a fine talent, he lacks the firepower that Hetmyer brings to the table, and this was evident in the game against RR.
With Pant out for at least a week, Delhi’s problems are compounded as they might have to drop either Marcus Stoinis or Anrich Nortje to slot in both Hetmyer and Carey in the XI. Stoinis has been in phenomenal form of late, while Nortje sent down a few deliveries above 155kmph on Wednesday and has 9 wickets to his name this season – which makes both undroppable. Kagiso Rabada is the Purple Cap holder, and is unlikely to get dropped. Delhi already are without the services of Ishant Sharma without decent replacements, and dropping Nortje (the biggest possibility) might not be the best option either.
The Steven Smith conundrum
One of the greatest batsman in the world, Steven Smith, has been struggling for runs with five single digit scores in his last six matches. The Aussie has been unable to inspire his troops on the field, and the question doing the rounds is – should Smith be dropped with either Jos Buttler or Ben Stokes taking over the role of captaincy? The fact that Smith is batting at number three of late (he was opening before the arrival of Stokes) is making things worse for RR. Sanju Samson and Robin Uthappa are all top-order players, and with Smith coming in at three, the two Indian players need to bat a position below their preferred spot. He has been unable to get under the eye of the ball in his last few outings, and with David Miller on the bench, RR need to think over whether their leader is affecting the balance of the team.
— Cricket News (@cricketnews_com) October 14, 2020
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