Rajasthan Royals suffered two losses on the trot after winning as many consecutive games in IPL 2020. The two defeats to Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore have come, owing to their overreliance on the top-order as their inexperienced middle-order batsmen have been unable to bear the pressure. Ahead of their clash against a tough Mumbai Indians’ side, Gautam Gambhir has warned the Royals’ batsmen.
Rajasthan Royals beat the likes of Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah, mainly owing to the contributions from top three. All-rounder Rahul Tewatia had a part to play with the ball against CSK followed by pulling off a jailbreak for the ages against KXIP. However, in the next two games against RCB and KKR in Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively, the top-order failure has caused their middle-order to fluster as well. Their fielding has been below-par too.
Gautam Gambhir especially warned Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag with the former not looking in form by any margin. Gambhir feels that as an experienced player, Uthappa must fire and provide the much-needed momentum in the middle-order to thrive on the expectations. The 38-year old underlined that with Riyan Parag looking off-colour, the arrival of Ben Stokes, and a few capable men in the camp, the combination will look different moving forward. Uthappa has had scores of 5, 9, 2, and 17 in four games so far.
“Time’s running out for both Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag. Uthappa has not looked in any kind of form, to be honest. Robin Uthappa has to deliver. There were a lot of expectations that Robin will be able to finish off games, and if not that, at least give them the momentum they need in the middle order. So, Robin needs to deliver on those expectations. Riyan Parag has not looked in any kind of form either. So, obviously they have guys sitting on the bench, plus when Ben Stokes shows in, the combination will be completely different,” Gambhir told ESPN Cricinfo.
“Rajasthan Royals need to rectify their middle-order” : Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir further said that the over-dependency on the likes of Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, and Sanju Samson is hurting them big time. Hence, with their inconsistencies creeping up as well, the inaugural IPL champions must refine their middle-order for the crucial games moving forward.
“It’s pretty tricky for them, because they are heavily dependent on Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and Sanju Samson. If all of them go out early in one game, there are serious issues for them, so they need to rectify their middle order,” he added.