Warne needs Royals top order to fire
It might be a bit premature to call Tuesday’s day-night match between the Delhi Daredevils and the Rajasthan Royals at SuperSport Park in Pretoria a “must-win” for the defending champions.
Yet, with one win and one rain-enforced tie from four matches Shane Warne, the captain, coach and player of the Rajasthan Royals will be desperate for his team to impose themselves on the tournament.
Currently second-last in the points-table with just three points, just one more than the last-placed Bangalore Royal Challengers, who, ironically, beat them in their first match of Season 2009 in South Africa, the Rajasthan Royals will be looking for their misfiring top order to come good against the Delhi Daredevils.
In Sunday’s 21-run loss to the Kings XI Punjab, the Rajasthan Royals’ first five batsmen contributed just 26 runs in the failed attempt to chase down a target of 140.
“Our bowling and fielding were very good,” said Warne. “Perhaps Punjab got 10-15 runs more than they should have. As we were chasing 140, we should have got a good start and been comfortable in doing that, but unfortunately our top order failed.
“They bowled well but we just didn’t get our combination right as yet. Guys at the top are not doing the job, we have to look at that, the bowlers and fielders are doing their job.”
The Delhi Daredevils, who have won all three of their games thus far, have a solid batting line-up led by captain Virender Sehwag, India’s Gautam Gambhir and backed up by South Africa’s AB de Villiers and Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan.
If one has failed in the tournament thus far, then another has managed to get a big score. De Villiers did so with an unbeaten century against the Chennai Super Kings on Friday, followed by Dilshan’s 67 not out against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.
Throw in Daniel Vettori’s accuracy and guile with the ball – he has six wickets from the three games – and the Rajasthan Royals will have a tough job in Centurion on Tuesday.