IPL 2019: Smith hopes to build on winning start as captain of Rajasthan v Delhi

Ajit Vijaykumar 20:59 21/04/2019
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Steve Smith. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Steve Smith will look to build on the winnings start as Rajasthan Royals captain in IPL 2019 when his team hosts Delhi Capitals on Monday.

The Australian star batsman was handed the captaincy reins after Ajinkya Rahane led them to six defeats in seven games. In his first game in charge, Smith hit an unbeaten fifty against Mumbai Indians to secure just the third win of the season.

Against a dangerous looking Delhi in Jaipur, Rajasthan will be hoping for another clinical show.

Binny and Parag show promise

Rajasthan will be pleased with the fight shown by unheralded all-rounder Stuart Binny and 17-year-old batsman Riyan Parag.

Binny has proven to be a nifty player with his seamers difficult to hit away while with the bat he has muscled unbeaten 40 runs so far in two innings.

However, it’s Parag’s fearless batting that should give Rajasthan a lot of heart.

The 17-year-old missed out on being the youngest to hit an IPL fifty (43 off 29 balls) in the match against Mumbai and will look to shore up Rajasthan’s middle order that has been plagued by poor form of Ben Stokes.

Delhi hope for pace

Delhi Capitals have a deadly pace attack but have had to contend with astonishingly slow pitch at home this season. Kagiso Rabada and Ishant Sharma have proven to be a handful if the wicket offers even a little bit of assistance. Against a Rajasthan line-up that isn’t exactly firing – especially with Jos Buttler back in England – Delhi will be hoping their quicks can go all out.

If not, they have leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who has shown the ability to pick up top wickets, even if at the cost of a few runs.

Likely XIs

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wk), Steve Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni

Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane

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