With the IPL extravaganza reaching to its 5th weekend Dhamaal, it will be an exciting contest to witness not only among the 8 teams in action, but also among the individual player clashes. The matches scheduled for Saturday:
Saturday, 20th April- Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians (IST 16.00)
Saturday, 20th April- Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab (IST 20.00)
The recent victory of RCB against KKR have kept the the Challengers from Bangalore in hunt, due to which the clash between the Pink Royals against the Mumbai Blues makes the contest challenging. Rajasthan Royals will be high on confidence despite the recent loss against Punjab as they were seen in contest with MI a week prior at latter’s home where, Jos Butler single-handedly snatched the game away from the home side at Wankhede despite a stiff target of 188. Boasting on its strong top and middle-order batting line-up, the game is expected to be a high-scoring thriller at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium at Jaipur. However, with the hosts slipping away from the play-offs spot, it looks to gain maximum advantage from its last 3 games at home. With the scoreline reading 1-3 for the the RR at home, a huge task lies ahead of Ajinkya Rahane to concentrate on a single match at a time and thus carry forward the confidence as the tournament progress. On the other hand, MI, with a home and away victory post the defeat against Rajasthan aim to taste the top position spot in the points table and close in the distance against their arch-rivals, Chennai Super Kings.
With some of the big names in the squad of both the teams, following contest is likely to grab attention:
1. Hardik Pandya vs Jofra Archer
The Windies All-rounder has been an incredible asset for Ajinkya Rahane who has impressed not only through his economical and wicket-taking ability, but also through his bowling in the death overs. Hardik Pandya, the recent Player of the Match against Delhi Capitals for his powering partnership with other Pandya helped the team to set a decent target for opposition. Hardik Pandya tempts his skipper, Rohit Sharma to use him as a bowling option despite the likes of regular pacers and spinners.
It will be an interesting contest between the duos to see who can contribute more to help their respective side on winning line.
2. Sanju Samson vs Quinton de Kock
The wicketkeeper-batsmen for the Royals stands the ability to ease off the pressure from the middle-order line-up despite the failing of the openers as the young cricketer can carry forward the innings by building partnerships when in the middle. Quinton De Kock, on the other hand has been a consistent player for MI who doesn’t throw away his wicket easily. Keeping for the first 20 overs and coming in to chase to provide an ideal start has been the greatest strength for the left-handed WK batsmen from SA.
3. Rohit Sharma vs Shreyas Gopal
Shreyas Gopal has been successful in providing the break-through for the RR by breaking the opening stand of the opposition. Shreyas has the ability to gel-up with other pacers of the team and build a strong bowling partnership with other teammates. Rohit “Hit-man” Sharma has been consistent for his side and knows to change gears according to the situation. His ability to mould himself during setting target and chasing target makes him an important gem as a player apart from his captaincy skills on the field. With Virat Kohli already a victim off Gopal in the edition, the bowling all-rounder will certainly target the Vice-Captain of India to strengthen his collection.
4. Shikhar Dhawan vs Mohammed Shami
The left-handed opening batsmen for India and Delhi Capitals started off his campaign of IPL 2019 with scores of 43 & 51 against Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. “Gabbar” stands the ability to play an aggressive innings consistently despite the venue and opposition as he has achieved wonders for the Indian national side in all corners of the world in all formats. Mohammed Shami, on the other hand look to add more wickets under his kitty as the duo are surely going to face each other at the start of the innings. With 12 scalps in 9 innings so far, Shami ranks 4th in the list of leading wicket takers and contender of the purple cap.
5. Kasigo Rabada vs Lokesh Rahul
The current holder of Purple cap with 19 wickets in 9 matches, Rabada will face a great challenge in getting rid of Rahul-Gayle who has been one of the top consistent opening pair in this edition of IPL. With the biggest strength of one player being the biggest threat for the other, it will be an exciting contest between Rabada-Rahul to see if the WK-batsmen finds answers to the moving deliveries of the right-arm pacer.