Rajasthan Royals need to snap their losing streak in IPL 2024


Sanju Samson vs DC
Sanju Samson vs DC (PC: IPL/X)

At the back-end of any Indian Premier League season, every single result can have a bearing on not just the two teams partaking in that particular game, but also on other franchises. On Tuesday, Rajasthan Royals sealed their qualification for the Playoffs on the back of Delhi Capitals downing Lucknow Super Giants in the Capital. It is true that even before the match, with 16 points to their name, RR were in pole position to qualify for the next stage. However, the DC-LSG result means they have now locked their place in the last-four.

Currently, RR’s players are some 1500 km away from New Delhi, in Guwahati, where they will take on beleaguered Punjab Kings. On paper, it is an inconsequential match, as PBKS are already out of contention. RR, though, would be hoping to regain some momentum after losing three games in a row. RR also have to do without Jos Buttler, with the England skipper returning home for national commitments. So, who could end up replacing Buttler in the playing XI?

One option is to try Tom-Kohler Cadmore, the Worcestershire and Somerset cricketer. Dhruv Jurel, who bats at the top of the order for Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy, can also be asked to play as an opener. Although he is yet to bat at that position in the shortest format of the game. RR have a couple of other worry lines to think about. Shimron Hetmyer’s injury is one of them. Meanwhile, Rovman Powell hasn’t exactly made an impact over his last couple of games.

PBKS, their opponent, only have pride to play for and Liam Livingstone has left the IPL. Sam Curran and Jonny Bairstow, his England teammates, are still part of the squad, and are expected to return home to link up with the national set-up after today’s match. Kagiso Rabada, the South African quick, has also left the IPL. So, Nathan Ellis, known for his variations, could get the nod. Amidst the despair, Vidwath Kaverappa’s spell in PBKS’ previous outing against Royal Challengers Bengaluru is a positive. The record books would say he only took two wickets. But he could have plucked 4-5 scalps if PBKS had held on to their catches. 

Can the formidable RR side get back to winning ways? Or perhaps PBKS will post a couple of consolation victories to end their campaign on a high note? Logic says RR will fancy their chances of returning to some form after wading through a three-match losing streak.