Former India cricketer, Aakash Chopra is perplexed at the strategy used by the Rajasthan Royals regarding their batting order in their heavy defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday. Batting first Rajasthan could manage a below-par 154 runs which were chased down by Hyderabad with 11 balls and 8 wickets to spare.
Ben Stokes, since his delayed arrival in the UAE, owing to the health concerns of his father, has opened the batting for the Royals. Also Rajasthan’s regular opener for the last three seasons, Jos Buttler is pushed down in the middle order in the last few games as Robin Uthappa is slotted to pair with Stokes.
Their batting order is actually a disorder: Aakash Chopra
In the video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra has had his say over the disarray in the Royals’ batting order. The former opener said it is beyond his grasp that Jos Buttler, who is inarguably their best player, is batting in the middle order and not at the top instead of an out of form Ben Stokes. Chopra takes a cheeky dig at Ben Stokes as the left-hander has not hit a single six in five games.
“Rajasthan Royals have an issue that their batting order is actually a disorder. Their batting order is beyond my understanding at this point of time because Jos Buttler, who is their best player is being sent at No.4 while they are opening with Ben Stokes, whose bat is not firing.”
“The extent to which Ben Stokes’ bat has not been firing can be understood by the fact that he has played more than 100 deliveries and he is yet to hit a six. They have signed Ben Stokes and not Aakash Chopra that he is scoring with just the fours and singles.”
In 5 matches Ben Stokes has scored 110 runs at a strike rate of 106- which is well below expectations, especially if Stokes is opening. Chopra makes sure to voice this fact as this slows down the pace of the entire innings and puts pressure on the batsman at the other end.
The cricketer-turned commentator suggested a swap between Buttler and Stokes, and he believes that will serve Rajasthan better and improve their situation in the points table.
“Rajasthan Royals had expectations from Ben Stokes but he is not able to deliver there but the entire innings is becoming slow. Because of that Sanju Samson plays a bad shot to get out as the pressure is mounting.
I just did not understand, the batting order at the moment is a little baffling. They will have to change this because if they have to derive the most benefit from Buttler, they will have to open with him and will have to send Stokes down the order,” Aakash Chopra said.
Rajasthan Royals will go head to head with the defending champions on Sunday in Abu Dhabi and will need to win in a bid to keep their season alive.