With Ben Stokes back in the side, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be hoping to avenge the defeat they suffered at the hands of Delhi Capitals (DC) on October 9 when they meet in Dubai on Wednesday. The Steve Smith-led RR are placed at the sixth place in the standings, and would hope for a spirited show in order to keep their play-offs hopes alive.
On Wednesday, RR have a bright chance of settling scores against the Shreyas Iyer-led DC as they have their most lethal weapon, Ben Stokes, at their disposal. The England all-rounder, who opened the innings against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), would be hungry to deliver after a below-par show on Sunday, which was also his first game of the season. It will be interesting to see if the RR think-tank once again asks Stokes to open the innings or send him to bat in the middle-order as his side lacks a genuine finisher or power-hitter there.
While RR have Sanju Samson and skipper Smith at the top, they would be much relieved after Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag's gritty show against SRH as the duo snatched a win from the jaws of defeat. Both need to keep the good show going, and with Stokes in the ranks, RR certainly boast a solid middle-order.
In bowling, if fast bowler Jofra Archer is well-supported by Stokes, things would be quite difficult for any opposition as the duo is capable of troubling even the best batters in the business.
On the other hand, DC are placed second in the points table but they do have worries. After losing the services of Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma for the rest of the IPL, DC will have to hit the field also without Rishabh Pant, who has been sidelined for a week due to a hamstring injury. Pant's absence was visible against Mumbai Indians (MI) as DC failed to post a formidable total and ultimately lost the match.
However, Shikhar Dhawan is back in form which will be a major relief for DC. The left-hander played a crucial unbeaten 69-run knock against MI and the team management will expect nothing but consistency from him.
Prithvi Shaw and Iyer are also in good form and the team also has explosive hitters like Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer in their middle-order.
DC's bowling has been exceptional so far. South African pacer Kagiso Rabada will as usual be their go-to man along with compatriot Anrich Nortje while they have the services of experienced Ravichandran Ashwin besides Axar Patel.