Facing equally-strong Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans in their next game at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday, Royals will hope to find ways to win the crucial moments of the match. Titans too, have won three games out of four.
Playing like a unit, Royals have been acing difficult patches of play. Their effort looks more significant because they have so far not been able to get the first-mover’s advantage one enjoys after winning the toss. On all the previous occasions, Royals have lost the toss and have been made to bat first. Naturally, any captain will factor in the dew conditions later in the match and give his bowlers the best chance to go for the kill. While Samson is yet to have that luxury, he trusts his bowling unit.
“We have a team that can do well with any toss decision,” said Samson after losing the toss for the fourth time on the trot during the match against Lucknow Super Giants.
Yuzvendra Chahal has proved to be the catalyst for Royals. While leg-spinners continue to dominate the T20s, Chahal remains one of its best practitioners and much of the Royals’ success revolves around his performance. Currently, he is the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 11 scalps to his name. Titans would like to let pass the 31-year-old’s quota of four overs with patience to ensure wickets do not fall in a heap.
𝐒𝐓𝐑𝐈𝐊𝐄 a pose! 😍#SeasonOfFirsts #AavaDe #TATAIPL https://t.co/60v1rgCziX
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) 1649851086000
Pacer Kuldeep Sen’s performance in the last game, where he impressed with his composure while bowling the last over to take the Royals home by three runs, will add to the already solid attack.
Royals’ batters have been exposed to varied challenges, but against the Titans, their biggest test would be against leg-spin master Rashid Khan. Though his wicket count so far is only six, he has done well to dry the flow of runs. His economy stands at 6.68 in the last four games. The 23-year-old Afghan had put it succinctly after Titans’ match against Sunrisers Hyderabad: “But it’s about the opposition, they don’t take that kind of risk against you which will allow you to take more wickets.”
𝑯𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒆. 📸#RoyalsFamily | #दिलसेरॉयल | @devdpd07 https://t.co/uOE8xAsh7D
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1649832844000
Rashid is a ‘slow-starter’ in the IPL, but who knows if the ‘magic spell’ that he is waiting for is around the corner with Royals at its receiving end.
If Chahal and Khan are in the race with each other, so are slog overs experts Shimron Hetymer and Rahul Tewatia. It would be interesting to see who hits harder to help his team cross the finish line.