Match 36 – Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians
Rajasthan is one of two teams that look like missing this year’s IPL playoffs, their opposition on the other hand are starting to gain some serious momentum past the halfway mark of the tournament.
Another winnable match resulted in another disappointing loss for the Rajasthan Royals against the Kings XI in their last game. That just about sums up their 2019 campaign, they’ve struggled to close out matches throughout the tournament and as a result sit seventh on the points table. After a solid start to the tournament, leggy Shreyas Gopal has been kept wicketless in Rajasthan’s last three matches which is putting more and more pressure on Jofra Archer who appears to be the only livewire in the bowling attack with 10 wickets. The decision to omit Steve Smith fell flat on its face as the Royals middle order failed to chase the runs required, they might consider bringing him straight back in along with Ben Stokes if he’s recovered from his injury-niggle. A lot is expected of Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson with the bat, Samson in particular has been disappointing ever since he scored that unbeaten century in Hyderabad. This is a team desperate for a win, otherwise they could be looking at the same fate as RCB down the bottom.
With just one loss coming from their past five matches, the Mumbai Indians are building on something big. The skipper is slowly-but-surely starting to find form with the willow, and Quinton de Kock is striking the ball better than ever at the top. They have a solid core-group of players that they prefer in the side each and every game, the Pandya brothers are definitely one of those. Two very talented all-rounders, both Hardik and Krunal add a lot of X factor to the Mumbai Indians. The only problem I see at the moment is KIeron Pollard batting down the order at No. 7, that’s got to be frustrating for the big man. His elevation up the order against Punjab saw him score a match-winning 83, why not stick with it? In terms of the bowling, they have two of the best IPL seamers going around in Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga. 19-year-old spinner Rahul Chahar cashed in on a slow-deck in Delhi and bagged 3/19, Krunal Pandya was also good with figures of 1/7 in his two overs.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Rajasthan Royals
- Jos Buttler
- Jofra Archer
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Shreyas Gopal
Wildcard pick – Sanju Samson
Top 4 fantasy picks – Mumbai Indians
- Hardik Pandya
- Quinton de Kock
- Rohit Sharma
- Lasith Malinga
Rajasthan Royals (possible) – 1. Rahul Tripathi 2. Jos Buttler 3. Ajinkya Rahane © 4. Sanju Samson (wk) 5. Ashton Turner/Steve Smith/Ben Stokes 6. Stuart Binny 7. Jofra Archer 8. Shreyas Gopal 9. Jaydev Unadkat 10. Dhawal Kulkarni 11. Ish Sodhi.
Mumbai Indians (possible) – 1. Rohit Sharma © 2. Quinton de Kock (wk) 3. Suryakumar Yadav 4. Ishan Kishan 5. Krunal Pandya 6. Hardik Pandya 7. Kieron Pollard 8. Ben Cutting 9. Rahul Chahar 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Lasith Malinga.
Match 37 – Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab
The Capitals had a huge opportunity to assert their dominance in the top two where only Chennai was overshadowing them, instead their three-match winning streak came to a crashing halt and as a result could come back to bite them. Bringing down Kings XI will be no easy feat.
Not even the red-hot Kagiso Rabada could get Delhi over the line in what was an epic-struggle against the Mumbai Indians. Two of Delhi’s unsung-heroes in their win against Hyderabad, Keemo Paul and Chris Morris were given a savage beating by Mumbai’s batsmen as the pair conceded a whopping 76 runs between them in just six overs! Morris has been brilliant with the ball in hand for the Capitals this season, it was just one of those games. A mouth-watering battle is on the horizon, Kagiso Rabada up against the might of Chris Gayle and co. Rabada, currently the IPL’s leading wicket-taker in 2019 has showcased just how talented a fast bowler he is in this format alongside the other two. The South African is getting good support from the rest of the bowling attack, so there’s no added pressure to perform. One area that Delhi will have to quickly attend to is their batting prowess, it’s lacking consistency. Prithvi Shaw continues to get starts and not capitalise, and we haven’t seen a lot of Rishabh Pant in recent times either.
I don’t know what to make of Kings XI Punjab, they threaten to dominate the competition every now and then, only to dish up a handful of failures along the way. Chris Gaye and KL Rahul are the backbone of this team, there’s no questioning that. Are they too reliant on the pair? The answer is yes, anyone who thinks other needs a reality check. Rahul (387 runs at 64.50) and one of the IPL’s all-time favourites Chris Gayle (352 runs at 50.28) have once again delivered for their franchise, so why do they find themselves just holding onto a top four spot? It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but the fact of the matter is without these two performing they’d probably find themselves below RCB. Mayank Agarwal and David Miller are two very-capable batsmen, and KXIP will be hoping they can rise to the occasion more often. An injury to Moises Henriques who was set to play his first game of the tournament and Mujeeb Ur Rahman should open the door for Viljoen, Tye or Curran.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Delhi Capitals
- Kagiso Rabada
- Shreyas Iyer
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Amit Mishra
Wildcard pick – Rishabh Pant
Top 4 fantasy picks – Kings XI Punjab
- Chris Gayle
- KL Rahul
- Ravi Ashwin
- David Miller
Wildcard pick – Murugan Ashwin
Delhi Capitals (possible) – 1. Prithvi Shaw 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Shreyas Iyer © 4. Colin Munro/Colin Ingram 5. Rishabh Pant (wk) 6. Axar Patel 7. Chris Morris 8. Keemo Paul 9. Kagiso Rabada 10. Amit Mishra 11. Ishant Sharma.
Kings XI Punjab (possible) – 1. KL Rahul 2. Chris Gayle 3. Mayank Agarwal 4. David Miller 5. Nicholas Pooran (wk) 6. Mandeep Singh 7. Ravi Ashwin © 8. Hardus Viljoen/Sam Curran/Andrew Tye 9. Mohammed Shami 10. Murugan Ashwin 11. Arshdeep Singh.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.