IPL 2019: Ajinkya Rahane back as captain as Rajasthan Royals pursue playoffs v Delhi Capitals

Ajit Vijaykumar 19:38 03/05/2019
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Rahane is back as Rajasthan skipper. Image: BCCI/Sportzpics.

Time to bring out the calculators folks. The IPL 2019 playoff qualification race is in full swing and with four teams fighting to the last remaining spot, fortunes are dependent on team’s own results and failures of others.

Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians have made it to the next stage, leaving four teams in the race. On Saturday, Rajasthan Royals travel to Delhi, looking to keep up their end of the bargain and hope other results go their way.

A win alone won’t be enough for Rajasthan as they will also need Sunrisers Hyderabad to lose later in the day against RCB and for the winner of KXIP-KKR match to lose the last match.

Rahane back in charge

Helping Rajasthan in this arduous task is Ajinkya Rahane, who is back in the captain’s seat for the last league game after a remarkable turn of events.

The top order batsman was removed as skipper after their eighth game following six defeats. Steve Smith was appointed as captain but he is back with the Australian team to prepare for the World Cup.

Other senior players like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are also not with the team anymore, leaving Rahane as the only person left for the job, which makes for an awkward situation.

Nonetheless, Rajasthan need to somehow win against the already qualified Delhi. The washout in their last game against RCB has hurt Rajasthan’s chances.

Kagiso Rabada of Delhi Capitals. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Kagiso Rabada of Delhi Capitals. Image – @IPL/Twitter.

No Rabada

What should make the job slightly easier for Rajasthan is the absence of star Delhi pacer Kagiso Rabada, who has been ruled out of the tournament following back trouble.

With the pace ace unavailable, Rajasthan can hope for slightly easier time but there will be a lot on the line for Delhi as well, who will aim for a big win to improve their net run rate and better their chances of making it to the first qualifier.

Delhi will also be desperate to put the disastrous effort in their last game – where they were shot out for 99 by Chennai’s spinners – behind them.

Likely XIs

Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Chris Morris, Jagadeesha Suchith, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (wk), Liam Livingstone, Ajinkya Rahane (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas

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