The RR-GT rivalry unveils an enticing subplot, featuring Jaiswal facing off against Gill


Gill and Jaiswal are in contention for the World Cup. (Source:

It’s a narrative marked by divergent fortunes, not only from the team’s viewpoint but also from that of the players. While one has enjoyed a reasonably positive beginning, the other has seemed somewhat disoriented. All eyes will be on Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal as Rajasthan Royals take on Gujarat Titans in Jaipur today.

Earlier this year in January, Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid vowed to persist with the opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal. If that statement is to be believed, then Jaiswal is an automatic choice for the ICC T20 World Cup. However, things have changed since the beginning of the IPL. Jaiswal, who has been terrific for the national team of late, has tallied just 39 runs in four games in IPL 2024. The selectors are keeping a close eye on the performances of players who are in the World Cup probables.

The ongoing IPL is likely going to be the barometer for selection. Even though many players are locked in, there are still some spots left. Rohit is locked at the top. The question is who will open with him in the mega-event. Gill and Jaiswal are both contenders and in fray for selection. Not to rule out the chances of Virat Kohli opening the innings. He has been the best batter by a country mile in the ongoing ten-team tournament.

The selectors want Kohli to play fearlessly and not be timid. Batting at the top gives Kohli an opportunity to meet the demands of the team and selectors by maximising the field restrictions. If Kohli opens, then only one of Gill or Jaiswal will be able to travel with the squad as a backup opener and not both.

One of them is most likely to go, but the question is who? As things stand, Gill is ahead of Jaiswal based on current form. Gill has scored 183 runs in five games at an average of 45.75 and a strike rate of 147.58. However, despite Jaiswal’s recent success for the national team, he has only managed to tally 39 runs in four games for the GT. The GT skipper hasn’t quite reached his peak performance, appearing as a mere shadow of himself.

It’s still early days in the tournament, and fortunes can change swiftly for a batter. It takes one innings. Jos Buttler exemplified this in the last RR game against RCB at home by scoring a century. There’s no reason why Jaiswal can’t replicate that feat. The left-hander is in dire need of runs and must break the streak of low scores soon.

Both Gill and Jaiswal are vying for a spot in the 15-member squad. The one who performs will fly to the Caribbean and US.

Meanwhile, the Titans hold a superior record against the Royals. GT has dominated this rivalry, winning four matches against RR, while RR has only managed to win one fixture against GT.

For Gill, the key is to stick to what has been effective with the bat and continue scoring runs for his team. Similarly, for Jaiswal, the strategy remains the same. He just needs to allow himself some time at the beginning before going on the offensive against GT bowlers. Both batters should keep the bigger picture in mind – the T20 World Cup – but for now, their focus should solely be on this game and how they can contribute to their team’s victory.

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