Delhi failed to back up the impressive performance they produced against KKR and went down to the Chennai Super Kings last time out. The Chennai batsmen took a liking to the Delhi bowling attack and scored another hefty total of 211 before Delhi then struggled to get momentum with the bat aside from a late surge by Rishabh Pant and Vijay Shankar who helped Delhi get to 198.
The Delhi Daredevils bowling unit had been praised after a few solid performances however the match against Chennai was a harsh reality check. Trent Boult (0/48), Rahul Tewatia (0/23 from 2) and Vijay Shankar (1/22 from 2) were all expensive and although Liam Plunkett had a great start to his tournament, he was also extremely expensive against Chennai going for 52 runs from just three overs.
It will be interesting to see the mindset of Ricky Ponting in regards to selection for this match. Experienced players such as Jason Roy, Dan Christian and Chris Morris are at Ponting’s disposal if he wishes to bring in some seasoned veterans and freshening them up may be required.
Coach: Paddy Upton
Captain: Ajinkya Rahane
Rajasthan were also unable to back up a winning performance themselves as they went down to the dominant Sunrisers Hyderabad last time out. Rajasthan bowled very well to restrict SRH to just 151 however as has happened so often throughout this season of the IPL, Rajasthan’s batting order failed to capitalise on the effort of the bowlers and went down by 11 runs to the impressive Sunrisers bowling attack.
Ish Sodhi made his debut performance for Rajasthan after initially being named as an injury replacement for Zahir Khan. Sodhi has a fantastic record in T20 internationals with 36 wickets from 26 matches and an impressive economy rate of 7.43, and with numbers like this it is a wonder he was not able to break into the team earlier.
Ben Stokes continues to have an average IPL tournament, scoring just 147 runs from seven matches while D’Arcy Short may be handed a recall at some stage as they try to bounce back from the loss.
This clash looms as an important match for both teams as Delhi are down to their last few chances to turn their season around and whilst Rajasthan have been largely inconsistent, they sit just one match out of the top four. The Royals will be motivated here and the return of Jofra Archer into the team has added a new dynamic and whilst Delhi cannot be dismissed as easy opponents, the inclusion of Archer and Sodhi coupled with the circumstances surrounding their ladder position make them hard to tip against.