Two sides that have played some sparkling cricket this IPL season come face to face on Friday. The reverse fixture featuring Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Titans at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium should be fascinating.
Titans, the defending champion, is sitting atop the table, but Royals, the winner of the inaugural edition, could take that place if it wins. Both sides should want to put the defeat in their last matches behind them.
Yashasvi Jaiswal’s brilliant two-run-a-ball 124 would have been enough to win most T20 matches, but Mumbai Indians chased down a big total at the Wankhede Stadium. The elegant left-hander is going through a breakthrough season.
Royals must be hoping he continues his incredible run: his last four innings read 44, 47, 77 and 124. The host needs skipper Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler, who is going through a rough patch after beginning the season with three fifties from four innings, to regain their magical touch.
Its potent and varied bowling attack, which includes R. Aswhin, Yuzendra Chahal and Trent Boult, will have to return to its best after the Mumbai debacle.
Titans also has an excellent attack spearheaded by Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan. The bowlers had done their job in the loss against Delhi, but the batters quite could not. Captain Hardik Pandya made an unbeaten 59 but it wasn’t enough in the low-scoring affair.
Titans, however, need not read too much into that setback, especially when its batting boasts the likes of the classy Shubman Gill and Vijay Shankar, who has taken his great domestic form to the IPL, as it looks to avenge the three-wicket loss to Royals.
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