Home News IPL 2024: Ahead of Eliminator, plenty to ponder for Rajasthan Royals

IPL 2024: Ahead of Eliminator, plenty to ponder for Rajasthan Royals

22
0

Not April but May has been the cruelest month for Rajasthan Royals.

From cruising at one point in time until a few weeks ago, with an unbeaten run, a top-two finish after the group stage looked imminent. However, things have changed drastically as it lost four successive games this month, followed by the abandonment of its last home fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders.

The result?

After blowing up its top-two-finish hopes, Royals now face Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Wednesday in the Eliminator. The two teams have had contrasting fortunes over the fortnight, with RCB leapfrogging to the fourth slot with six consecutive games after stuttering in the points table mid-way into the season, whereas Royals – despite winning eight of its first nine games – bottled the last four games, raising question marks over its depth of batting.

In the first half of the tournament, captain Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag, batting at No.4, took charge of Royals’ batting despite Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal struggling early on. And adding gloss to its glory, Buttler and Jaiswal, too, scored runs to bolster the top-order.

All this while, the middle-order and the lower-middle order largely remained untested, and as the league progressed and the middle-order needed to step up, they failed to consistently make an impact.

Dhruv Jurel didn’t get too many opportunities early on and only scored a solitary fifty against Lucknow Super Giants last month before struggling again. In the last three games, he has scored just 29 runs.

Dhruv Jurel didn’t get too many opportunities early on and only scored a solitary fifty against Lucknow Super Giants last month before struggling again. In the last three games, he has scored just 29 runs.
| Photo Credit:
B. Jothi Ramalingam / The Hindu

lightbox-info

Dhruv Jurel didn’t get too many opportunities early on and only scored a solitary fifty against Lucknow Super Giants last month before struggling again. In the last three games, he has scored just 29 runs.
| Photo Credit:
B. Jothi Ramalingam / The Hindu

Last season, Dhruv Jurel emerged as one of the major talking points of the tournament because of his finishing skills, which eventually paved his way for Test debut against England in March this year. However, this time around, the youngster did not get too many opportunities early on, and only scored a solitary fifty against Lucknow Super Giants last month before struggling again. In the last three games, he has scored just 29 runs.

Even the West Indies ace Rovman Powell has failed to live up to the expectations in the last few crunch games and could only score 44 runs in the last three innings.

That, certainly, has been one of the major concerns for Royals.

With Buttler unavailable for the playoffs, there are doubts over the team’s overseas players as well. Shimron Hetmyer, one of the key finishers, hasn’t played since May 2 after he and Powell failed to finish a tense chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Similarly, it hasn’t been quite a smooth transition at the top either as Tom Kohler-Cadmore, coming in for Buttler, could manage only 18 off 23 balls against Punjab Kings.

While the rain in Guwahati on Sunday threw cold water on Royals’ hopes and dreams of earning a ticket for the Qualifier One against Kolkata Knight Riders, the team management also needs to introspect how did the team, that was ruling the points table at one stage, let it slip?

There’s plenty to ponder.

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here