RR vs SRH - Gameplan 1 - Rashid Khan

IPL 2021: RR vs SRH – Game Plan 1 – The Rashid Khan challenge awaits the Royals 

139

The 28th match of the IPL 2021 tournament will witness Rajasthan Royals taking on Sunrisers Hyderabad at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. The contest between the two teams, who are currently reeling at the bottom of the table, could all be about match-ups. We take a look at a key game plan that could play an important role in the 28th game of the IPL 2021 – RR vs SRH. 

Rajasthan Royals have suffered a series of blows that have derailed their IPL 2021 campaign to an almost irreparable point. With the loss of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, RR have essentially become a two-player team with much of the responsibility on Skipper Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler. With RR languishing at 7th place, the duo has to step up against their biggest challenge. 

RR vs SRH: Can the Royals tackle the threat of Rashid Khan 

Rajasthan Royals’ batting unit is highly dependent on Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson. Since 2019, the duo has scored 30% of total runs for RR. They will have to do the bulk of the work against SRH too if they are to stand any chance. But the threat of Rashid Khan will be looming over them. 

Rashid Khan is the most skillful leg-spinner in the world and he has almost every batter in his pocket. The RR mainstays are no exceptions. Rashid Khan has tormented Buttler, dismissing him thrice in only 14 deliveries in the IPL. On the other hand, Samson has only been dismissed once by the Afghan leggie but he has scored at an awful strike rate of 83. So how can RR get past the magician?

READ: What triggered the end of the David Warner era?

RR vs SRH - Gameplan 1

In the above graphic, If you take a look at the performance of RR batters against Rashid, Manan Vohra emerges as the surprise package, who strikes at 243.8. But he was dropped from the side after a string of low scores at the start of the season and was replaced by Yashasvi Jaiswal, who has done a decent job in his two matches. However, RR is a very data-driven management, as seen in their usage of Shreyas Gopal against RCB. It will be interesting to see if they bring Vohra back to tackle the leg-spinner. 

RR currently have Shivam Dube as a designated number 4 with a job of smashing the spin which he hasn’t been doing well. RR can try pushing Rahul Tewatia up the order, who showed last year that he can take down Rashid Khan. The short boundaries at Delhi should help Tewatia. 

Jos Buttler and the power-play 

Jos Buttler, one of the best limited overs batters the game has seen, has the ability to kill the match in the power-play itself. Buttler has an average of 44 and an outstanding strike-rate of 150.4 in powerplay in the IPL. Against SRH, a couple of things go in favour of Buttler. First, Rashid Khan rarely bowls in the first six overs. Since 2019, Khan has bowled only 7 overs in the PP, none this year. Second, Buttler has a fantastic record against Sandeep Sharma in IPL

Jos Buttler vs Sandeep Sharma in IPL 

Balls 20 

Runs 42 

Dismissals

Strike Rate 210

Apart from Sharma, if SRH tries to bring the Left-arm Orthodox spin on, Buttler has terrific numbers against that bowling type too, averaging 55 and striking at 147. 

Sanju Samson has a favourable matchup for himself too in the current SRH bowling attack. Samson has hammered Siddharth Kaul in IPL. 

Sanju Samson vs Siddharth Kaul in IPL 

Balls 49 

Runs 82 

Dismissals

Strike Rate 167.35

With the Rashid Khan threat staring down post-powerplay, the Royals will need to take down the SRH bowlers in the first six overs.