Both these sides lost their opening match but Rajasthan look the stronger and better balanced of the two and shouldn't be outsiders on their own patch, according to Jamie Pacheco....
"Rajasthan have always been good at home so it’s a little odd that after just one match where they both lost that the hosts are the bigger of the two. Sooner or later one of Rahane, Stokes or Jos Buttler will fire with the bat and if they do, they’ll look a far better side than what we saw in Game One."
Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils
Wednesday April 11 15.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Royals must learn from Sunrisers thrashing
There are two ways you can look at Rajasthan's heavy defeat at the hands of Hyderabad.
You can say that it was a shocking batting display in which only one man (Sanju Samson, scored 49) managed to pass 20 and which resulted in a paltry total of 125, at least 30 runs short of a par score. Established batsmen like skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes and RA Tripathi just kept finding the fielders' hands rather than the gaps whenever they tried to be aggressive while Shikhar Dhawan made a mockery of their low total by scoring a beautiful 78 not out when the Sunrisers batted.
The other way of looking at it is to just say that the Sunrisers put in a virtually flawless all-round performance. The likes of Rashid Khan, Shakib Al-Hasan and Siddarth Kaul were unplayable, they took every single catch that came their way and added two run-outs to the equation. Then they batted extremely well when it was their turn. In other words, the Royals just ran into a side who had a great day.
But if there's one thing that they do need to do is bat Tripathi in his rightful place at the top of the order. That's where he scored a load of runs last season for Pune so batting him down at five is just plain wrong. Either drop him or open with him.
It would be no surprise if Jofra Archer came in for Ben Laughlin for this game as the fourth overseas player. The Sussex man does all three disciplines and it was a little strange he didn't play in the first match.
Maxwell waits for his turn
Delhi also lost their first match but ran the Kings XI much closer than Rajasthan did. Their score of 166 was about par and it was the evergreen Gautam Gambhir scoring the bulk of the runs with an impressive 55 off 42 balls. The innings ended in as familiar way though; he was run out for the umpteenth time in his IPL career.
What they didn't do was bowl particularly well. Trent Boult, Mohammad Shami, Amit Mishra and Chris Morris all have plenty of IPL experience but all of them went for more than eight an over.
Sooner or later they'll bring in the mercurial Glenn Maxwell with veteran Aussie all-rounder Dan Christian or Kiwi opener Colin Munro the players most likely to give way.
Rishabh Pant played a wonderful cameo of 28 off 13 balls and could be promoted up the order for this one.
No reason why Royals should be outsiders
You could argue that Rajasthan may take some time to find their feet after being out of the competition for a couple of years but then again, this Delhi side is virtually unrecogniseable from the one from last year, too.
Assuming Archer gets a game here, for my money Rajasthan are the better side in terms of both overseas players and local ones. They had a bad day at the office on Monday, the Sunrisers were brilliant and that's that, they move on.
Rajasthan have always been good at home so it's a little odd that after just one match where they both lost that the hosts are the bigger of the two. Sooner or later one of Rahane, Stokes or Jos Buttler will fire with the bat and if they do, they'll look a far better side than what we saw in Game One. To me Rajasthan look better suited to chasing because of the power-hitters in their middle order but I'm still happy to take the pre-toss price of 2.02 about the Royals.
Gambhir's 55 should have come as no surprise to long-term IPL fans. He's one of the few players to have been involved in every edition so far and only David Warner can match him for number of IPL fifties- they both have 36. Although of course Warner won't be adding to his total this year.
He's not everyone's cup of tea but he's effective enough and few players know their own game as well as this man. A quote of 4/1 that he gets another fifty here is pretty much spot on with his overall record in this competition- he scores one every 4.13 knocks- but when you add in the fact he got one last time out and that the Royals are no great shakes with the ball and you'd say there's some value in that quote.
2pts Back Rajasthan Royals to beat Delhi @ [2.02] (3pts)
1pt Back Gautam Gambhir to score a 50 @ 4/1 on Betfair Sportsbook