The Indian Premier League 2023 is in full swing and the fans are witnessing some thrilling contests between the teams. On Saturday, April 8, Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Delhi Capitals (DC) will lock horns in the 11th match of the tournament at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. Both teams have had contrasting fortunes so far in the competition and will be eager to get the better of each other in this encounter.
Rajasthan Royals, led by Sanju Samson, started their campaign on a high note as they defeated SunRisers Hyderabad by six wickets in their opening match. However, they failed to maintain their momentum and lost their second match by five runs against Punjab Kings at their new home venue in Guwahati.
RR have a strong batting line-up with the likes of Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Shimron Hetmyer and Riyan Parag, who have all shown glimpses of their form in the two matches. However, they will need to be more consistent and convert their starts into big scores. Their bowling department has been led by Yuzvendra Chahal, who has picked up five wickets in two matches at an impressive strike rate of 9.6. He has been well supported by Dhawal Kulkarni and Mustafizur Rahman, who have also been economical and picked up crucial wickets. RR will hope that Jos Buttler recovers from his injury that he sustained while taking a catch in the last match and is available for selection.
Delhi Capitals, on the other hand, have had a dismal start to their season as they have lost both their matches against the new entrants Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans. DC have been hampered by the absence of their regular captain Rishabh Pant, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.
David Warner has taken over the captaincy duties and has been the lone bright spot for DC with his batting. He has scored 97 runs in two matches at a strike rate of 161.66 and has looked in good touch. However, he has not received much support from his fellow batsmen as Mitchell Marsh, Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw have all failed to fire so far. DC’s bowling has also been lacklustre as they have conceded over 200 runs in both their matches.
Anrich Nortje has been their best bowler with four wickets in two matches at an economy rate of 9.25. He has been ably assisted by Axar Patel, who has also contributed with his bat lower down the order. DC will need to improve their performance in both departments if they want to get off the mark and challenge RR.
RR vs DC: Head-to-Head
RR and DC have an even record against each other in IPL history as they have won 13 matches each out of the 26 they have played. The last time they met was in IPL 2022, where RR won by three wickets chasing 162 runs.
RR vs DC: Pitch and Weather Report
The pitch at Barsapara Cricket Stadium is expected to be a batting paradise as it witnessed a high-scoring encounter between RR and PBKS in the last match. The average first innings score at this venue is 189 and the team batting first has won two out of the three T20 matches played here. The weather forecast for Saturday is sunny with no chances of rain and a maximum temperature of 34 degrees Celsius.
RR vs DC: Key Players
Jos Buttler: The England opener is one of the most destructive batsmen in T20 cricket and can take any bowling attack apart on his day. He scored a brilliant 64 off 37 balls against SRH and looked set for another big score against PBKS before he got injured. If he is fit to play, he will be a key player for RR
David Warner: The Australian captain has been the lone warrior for DC with his bat and has shown his class and experience in the two matches. He scored a fluent 49 off 30 balls against LSG and a fiery 48 off 28 balls against GT. He will be keen to lead from the front and score his first fifty of the season against RR.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The leg-spinner has been the standout performer for RR with his bowling and has troubled the batsmen with his variations and guile. He picked up three wickets for 18 runs against SRH and two wickets for 33 runs against PBKS. He will be a vital cog in RR’s bowling unit and will look to continue his good form against DC.
Anrich Nortje: The South African speedster has been the most impressive bowler for DC and has provided them with early breakthroughs and wickets at crucial junctures. He took two wickets for 32 runs against LSG and two wickets for 41 runs against GT. He will be a key weapon for DC and will try to unsettle the RR batsmen with his pace and bounce.
RR vs DC: Probable Playing XIs
RR: Jos Buttler (if fit)/Liam Livingstone, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Rahul Tewatia, Dhawal Kulkarni, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya.
DC: David Warner ©, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Mitchell Marsh/Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant (wk)/Vishnu Vinod, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada/Chris Woakes, Anrich Nortje, Umesh Yadav/Avesh Khan, Amit Mishra.
RR vs DC: Match Prediction
Both RR and DC have a balanced squad with some match-winners in their ranks. However, RR have an edge over DC as they have won one match out of two and have a better net run rate. DC have been struggling in both batting and bowling and will need to pull up their socks to challenge RR. Therefore, RR are the favourites to win this match.
3:36PM: Jaiswal takes on Khaleel Ahmed, hitting a FOUR and making it five in a row! With a back-of-length delivery and some width, Jaiswal skillfully waits before steering his cut shot over the short third fielder, resulting in a boundary. This marks the most expensive opening over in this season of the IPL!
2:59PM: Rovman Powell, a renowned power-hitter, faces a challenge as his weakness against spin bowling might keep him on the bench. Rajasthan Royals’ spin attack, led by Ashwin and Chahal, could be a deciding factor in the Capitals’ lineup choice.