IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals to bank on 'Fortress Jaipur' as they host Delhi Daredevils

Ashish Peter 10/04/2018
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The Royals will be back on their favoured turf. Image - RR/Twitter

Rajasthan Royals will once again return to their original home at Sawai Mansingh Stadium (SMS) in Jaipur as they host Delhi Daredevils in their second IPL match on Wednesday (18:30).

Returning after a two-year suspension from the competition, the Royals have not played at their ‘home’ ground since 2013.

Both sides come into the game on the back of defeats in their opening matches and will be keen to get their first points on the board for 2018.

TALKING POINTS

Having been thrashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday, the Royals will take comfort from their excellent record at ‘fortress SMS’ where they have won a staggering 24 of their 33 IPL matches at a win-rate of 72.73.

Having had to cope with the loss of Steve Smith – the only player they retained heading into the season – Royals will want a more significant contribution from their overseas stars like D’Arcy Short, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler who were all abject in defeat to Hyderabad.

On the other hand, Delhi Daredevils first outing under skipper Gautam Gambhir did not go to plan as KL Rahul’s record fifty steered Kings XI Punjab to victory. This will be their second successive match on the road but they will be bolstered by the arrival of Liam Plunkett as a late replacement for the injured Kagiso Rabada.

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

In their loss to Hyderabad, the Royals did not include star-man Jofra Archer in the line-up which could have something to do with the injury he suffered in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). They will be hoping that the West Indies-born man can recover in time for the clash as he provides a greater degree of balance to the squad.

The most expensive IPL signing this year in Ben Stokes failed to deliver the goods in their campaign opener and he will be keen to prove his worth to the franchise on Wednesday.

For the Daredevils, Blackcaps opener Colin Munro was dismissed cheaply in the loss to Kings XI but the left-hander remains one of the most dangerous batsmen in the T20 format. If he gets going at the top for Delhi, it might not matter how far the boundary ropes are placed at the SMS stadium.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (C), D’Arcy Short, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Jos Buttler (Wk), K Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.

Delhi Daredevils: Colin Munro, Gautam Gambhir (C), Shreyas Iyer, Vijay Shankar, Rishab Pant (Wk), Rahul Tewatia, Daniel Christian, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami.

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IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings to sign David Willey as a late replacement as Yorkshire are left fuming

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Willey has completed his paperwork to join up CSK.

Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon revealed his frustration after announcing David Willey has signed for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

The big-hitting left-arm seam bowler has been parachuted in after an injury to India’s Kedar Jadhav and joins White Rose and England limited-overs team-mate Liam Plunkett as a late replacement.

Plunkett was last weekend snapped up by Delhi Daredevils, coming in for Kagiso Rabada, and Moxon admitted the late call-ups are far from ideal for Yorkshire, who begin their County Championship campaign against Essex this Friday.

Moxon said: “We find ourselves in an impossible situation with these late replacement requests.

“At the moment, we are potentially looking at a situation where if we deny a player an opportunity, we will be left with someone who is not completely focused on playing for Yorkshire. This would be counter-productive.

“I will be chairing a meeting with other directors of cricket tomorrow at Edgbaston to discuss the future of the game. With the number of domestic T20 contracts available worldwide, it is important that we future-proof the County Championship. I will be calling for the introduction of a cut-off date, after which players will not be allowed to go to the IPL. Hopefully this can gain national approval and be supported by the ECB.”

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IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians bowler Pat Cummins ruled out of tournament with back injury

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Fast bowler Pat Cummins was ruled out of the Indian Premier League Tuesday with a back issue and is in doubt for Australia’s one-day tour of England.

Cummins has a long history of back issues and experienced soreness during the recent fourth and final Test against South Africa.

Australian team physiotherapist David Beakley said follow-up scans showed he had bone oedema in his vertebrae.

“It is important that Pat has time off bowling, to prevent the injury becoming more serious and consequently we have made the decision to rule Pat out of the IPL,” he said.

Cummins was bought by the Mumbai Indians but missed the opening match of the IPL season.

The latest setback also puts him in doubt for Australia’s five-match ODI series and a one-off T20 against England in June.

“Pat will now undergo a period of recovery and rehabilitation and we will look to re-scan him in a few weeks to assess the healing,” said Beakley.

“Following this we will be in a better position to decide on Pat’s return to play timeline, including participation in the limited-overs tour of the UK.”

Cummins shone on the troubled tour of South Africa, capturing 22 wickets despite Australia losing the Test series 3-1.

He was widely praised as a potential future leader for his conduct during the series that was marred by a ball-tampering scandal that saw former skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner sent home and banned for a year.

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