A good Powerplay score and a tactful execution by the bowlers – if the total has to be defended with dew dampening plans – is what Royals will be looking for.
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The onus will be on experienced Jos Buttler to get those early runs in the company of youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal. Royals have struggled to get going when the England batter gets out early. In the three outings so far, Royals have scored 58/0 versus Sunrisers Hyderabad, 48/2 versus Mumbai Indians and 35/1 versus RCB in the first six overs.
The first two games saw them dominate and win the matches with Buttler in control of things. Royals will hope that Orange Cap holder Buttler’s bat – that has so far yielded 205 runs from three games – dictates the scoreline from the outset.
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Jaiswal has so far looked scratchy. Although another greenhorn Devdutt Padikkal has looked in fine touch, he will have to find ways to convert the starts that he has been getting. As always, there are high expectations from captain Samson, who was on song in the opening match against SRH, scoring 55 off 27 balls.
In the match against KL Rahul’s outfit that bats deep, Royals will need a big score from their skipper. With Shimron Hetymer in good nick, the middle order looks secure as of now.
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In bowling, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has unfailingly impressed with spells that have left opponents limping, but like in the match against RCB, where other bowlers failed to maintain their line with dew coming into play, Royals will count on the experience of the lot to bounce back in no time.
LSG with three victories from four matches, including a hat-trick of wins, will be eager to extend their winning run. While their batting, which goes down till No. 8, is their strength, in bowling it is their spin department that can play a crucial role. 21-year-old leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi is LSG’s biggest asset.