Rajasthan Royals started their IPL 2020 campaign very strongly. Winning two games constantly with scores of 200+ but things haven’t gone further like the way things had started. Going into the tournament, the team had lost four games on the trot.
Royals are currently sitting second from the bottom and now, things have started to look a bit grim for them for the playoffs. They have won three matches out of their eight matches. Some of the stats after eight matches and their recent loss against Delhi Capitals are:
Position on points table = 7
- Win/Loss = 3/5
- Points = 6
- Match 1 to Match 8 = W W L L L L W L
Top 3 batsmen
- Sanju Samson = 227
- Rahul Tewatia = 203
- Jos Buttler = 168
Top 3 bowlers
- Jofra Archer = 12
- Rahul Tewatia = 5
- Shreyas Gopal = 5
With plenty of big names in the squad; Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, David Miller, the team is expected to do well but that hasn’t happened.
We look at some of the factors that are the reason for their low performances in the season.
Failure of Steve Smith and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals started their IPL 2020 campaign with two consecutive wins and scores of 200+ on both the occasions. The main reason was their two top batsmen, Steve Smith and Sanju Samson performed on both the occasions.
But after those two games, both the batsmen haven’t performed as expected. The list of scores for both the batsmen from match 1 to 8 are:
Steve Smith: 69, 50, 3, 5, 6, 24, 5, 1
Sanju Samson: 74, 85, 8, 4, 0, 5, 26, 25
Not the best of the scores when you are the leading batsmen of your team and your team heavily relies on you. taking off the scores of the first two matches, Smith and Samson have scored just 44 and 68 runs respectively in the next six games.
Royals have six matches left for the season and if they want to fancy themselves in the playoffs, these two batsmen must step up to the lead the team.
Jos Buttler not capitalizing on starts
After missing the opening match, Jos Buttler has only made one fifty in seven outings. Coming to the IPL with good form and earning the man of the series award in the T20I series against Australia in England, you expect Buttler to lead his team up in front.
But that is not the case. His scores in seven innings are:
Jos Buttler: 4, 21, 22, 70, 13, 16, 22
He has got starts in each innings but went on to hit only one big score so far. Striking some good boundaries early in the innings, Buttler needs to carry on his innings to score big for the team then the likes of Rahul Tewatia and Jofra Archer can follow him and whack at the end of the innings.
Lack of consistency in batting
Overall, Royals batting is pretty inconsistent. Failing to score big on numerous occasions, the players haven’t stepped up to perform for the team. Robin Uthappa, playing his first season for the Royals, has only made 83 runs in six innings with a strike-rate of 98. Ben Stokes has just come in and played only two matches. Rahul Tewatia also not consistent, Riyan Parag hasn’t performed yet on the big stage.
The team needs to go back to performance to start winning again. Timing is getting lesser and lesser for the playoffs spot and they need to better their batting display quickly.
Absence of Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes had missed the initial part of the IPL, precisely he missed the first six games of the Royals campaign. His substituent, Tom Curran had done well in his absence but wasn’t able to win matches for the team.
However, he is back in the squad and doing the role of the opener with Jos Buttler. The team has missed him badly in the early stages of the tournament losing four matches on the trot. If the team want to qualify for the playoffs, Ben Stokes had to play a major role in that.
Rajasthan Royals will play their next match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on October 17 at Dubai Cricket Stadium.