Five wins a row to start IPL 2015, and then five matches without a single victory – the Rajasthan Royals surge has certainly been quelled. With a place in the playoffs still well within touching distance, though, RR will now look to put that run to an end when they face the Delhi Daredevils at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, which will also be the 500th match of the Indian Premier League.
While not all of those five matches have resulted in losses – two of them were rained out – there is little doubt that all the momentum has been taken out of the Rajasthan Royals. When at once they looked formidable and near unbeatable, they now look ordinary and very much "OK let's have a go at them, because they are liable to crumble."
The bowling does not look as potent, with Pravin Tambe and James Faulkner, both of whom were dropped in the last game, a loss to the Mumbai Indians, failing to work their respective magic, while the batting has not quite clicked either.
Much of the Royals potency with the willow is dependent on the top three – Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson and Steven Smith – but Rahane has gone off the boil a little bit after a stunning start to IPL 2015, Watson remains a bit of a hit-and-miss and Smith has not been able to recover from the World Cup hangover, looking well below par.
Sanju Samson was the lone warrior for the Rajasthan Royals against the Mumbai Indians, scoring a delicious half-century to nearly pull off a massive chase. The decision to send Samson up to No.3 worked wonders, and with Smith still struggling for form, it might not be such a bad thing to keep the youngster at that position.
Also, bringing back Faulkner, another one who seems to have a CWC hangover, for Juan Theron might not be a bad idea either, as the South African paceman looked quite rusty against MI.
For the Delhi Daredevils, this match will be about continuing their good run of form. They have won two of their last three games, and with the playoffs still very much in sight, another win will take them above RCB into third place.
Against KXIP, DD were quite impressive, shutting out the dangerous opposition batsmen, before running down the runs with considerable ease to complete a comprehensive nine-wicket win.
The most pleasing aspect of that victory was the return from injury of Zaheer Khan, and if the experienced pace bowler can continue to dent the top order, much like he did in the last match, DD will be there or thereabouts for a playoff place.
Where to Watch Live
RR vs DD is scheduled for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage in India on Sony Six, Sony Max, Sony Aath and Sony Kix. Catch the match via live streaming online in India on Starsports.com and Hotstar.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on ESPN, while the live stream option is on ESPN Cricket. Audience in Canada can do the same on Sportsnet or Watch Sportsnet. Viewers in the UK can flip that remote to Sky Sports3 to catch Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils live, while the match can also be live streamed on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports.
Middle East and North Africa viewers can catch the IPL 2015 game live on OSN Sports or online on OSN Play. Audience across the world can also go to Cricketgateway.com to watch the IPL 2015 match live.