Rajasthan Royals were outclassed and outplayed by Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening match of IPL 2018. The Ajinkya Rahane-led franchise will now look to register their first win of the season 11 when they face Delhi Daredevils at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Wednesday. This will be Rajasthan's first IPL home game in five years and the team will be eager to put on a show for the home fans. Their opponents Delhi too tasted defeat and both teams will be itching to bounce back.
Daredevils were severely hit by KL Rahul's fastest fifty for Kings XI Punjab, losing in Mohali by six wickets.
Royals, on the other hand, could never cope with the bowling might of Sunrisers Hyderabad and went down by nine wickets in Hyderabad yesterday.
It was a rather forgettable opening for the hosts who are making a comeback in the tournament after serving a two-year suspension.
Skipper Anjikya Rahane too would like to forget the outing where he failed with the bat, missed a sitter in slips and also gambled with batting only to see a complete rout of his team.
The comfort zone of playing at home may give the desired dose of much needed confidence but the cracks exposed against Sunrisers need to be addressed quickly.
The batting order in absence of Steve Smith looked brittle, the overseas players including Ben Stokes looked shaky against the spinners and the bowlers lost heart once the batsmen could put only 125 on the board.
Barring a 49 by Sanju Samson, none of other the batsmen showed any confidence nor they could build any partnerships.
The shrewd cricketing brain and mentor of the side, legendary Shane Warne, will have to lift the morale of the side and he might use the success stories of home ground to motivate his men.
The hosts have the resources with experienced overseas players and local talent under a calm and cool Rahane but they need to get their act together.
They face Daredevils who are still in shock and feel that despite doing all good, it was just Rahul's lightning fifty which took the match away from them.
The skipper Gautam Gambhir looked good and determined during his 55 and Rishabh Pant and Morris too contributed.
They also have a good and experienced bowling side with Boult, Md. Shami, Morris and Amit Mishra in the forefront.
The biggest factor for the Delhi Daredevils is the presence of Gambhir as skipper. He is eager to prove his prowess and leads the side with aggression.
The weather in the Pink City has been cloudy with a little bit of drizzle.
We were hit hard by the RCA ban. Despite financial crunch we maintained the wicket and the outfield. There has not been much cricket on it but we have tried hard to sustain grass on it because it is this ingrown grass which binds the soil of the wicket.
"It is not the 200 run kind of wicket but 160-170 would be achievable because ball would come nicely on to the bat. The bowlers would also have something for them. They might find good bounce out of this surface, said veteran curator Taposh Chatterjee.
Delhi Daredevils: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Sandeep Lamichhane, Manjot Kalra, Glenn Maxwell, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Shahbaz Nadeem, Naman Ojha, Rishabh Pant, Harshal Patel, Jason Roy, Vijay Shankar, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Jayant Yadav, Abhishek Sharma, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult, Daniel Christian, Sayan Ghosh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Ankit Sharma, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jofra Archer, D'Arcy Short, Dushmantha Chameera, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, S Midhun, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin, Prashant Chopra, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mahipal Lomror, Jatin Saxena, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Birla, Jos Buttler, Heinrich Klaasen, Zahir Khan and Rahul Tripathi.