Kolkata: The top half of IPL 2022 points table is already wearing an intriguing look with five teams locked on six points each and this will give both Rajasthan Royals and newcomers Gujarat Titans an added impetus to break free when they meet in Match 24 at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday.
The Sanju Samson-led Royals, which has shown a potential to be serious title-contenders this year after quite a while, kept their nerves to pip Lucknow Super Giants by three runs in their last game. Trent Boult showed what Mumbai Indians were missing this season when he struck two telling blows in the first over - the first one being peach of a delivery which claimed rival captain K.L.Rahul and they went on to successfully defend a total of 165.
Gujarat, who are gelling well in their debut season, came up short against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last game - reflecting a tendency to overtly rely on opener Shubman Gill who fell cheaply in the last game after back-to-back half-centuries. Hardik Pandya, who has started off in a commendable fashion as a captain, scored a valuable half-century to shore up the innings but cracked under pressure as his outburst against senior Indian pace bowler Mohammed Shami had him trolled immediately on the social media.
The Royals’ batting unit, on the other hand, is a well-rounded one though opener Jos Buttler remains their impact player. He has looked in fine nick and scored cracker of a century to lay down the early marker, and the best way to rock their batting order is to see off the esplosive English batter early, Gujarat has the attack to do it in Powerplay with Shami, Pandya and speed merchant Lockie Ferguson - with the Kiwis’ disconcerting speed and bounce capable of posing quite a few questions. It could well turn out to be a battle between Royals’ batting against the Gujarat’s bowling prowess.
Catch the match
Rajasthan Royals vs Gujarat Titans
Venue: DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
Time: 6 pm UAE