Former Indian cricketer Saba Karim was completely taken aback by Rajasthan Royals (RR) strategy of going in with four seamers against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Monday. The tracks in the UAE have favoured spinners throughout and Karim reckons it was a mistake to rely on pacers only.
RR’s chances of making it to the playoffs took a beating against the bottom-placed SRH. After putting up a decent score of 164/5 in their 20 overs courtesy of Sanju Samson’s brilliant 82, RR failed to defend the total. Kane Williamson and Jason Roy exploited the bowling and registered fifties.
“Both of them can only act as your sixth bowler. Their entire strategy of playing only with four quality seamers didn’t quite go well for them. You need quality spinners because you can’t always rely on your pacers. They might do well in the powerplay and death overs but you need good spinners at least in the middle overs.”
“This is so surprising for Rajasthan. I was expecting them to pull this through and try to get into the playoffs and this will hurt them. Although Samson scored runs, the last three overs made a big difference. Sunrisers came back very strongly in the last three overs and gave away just 18 runs. That hurt RR in a big way,” Karim mentioned.
“Nothing can be done if your top players aren’t performing” – Saba Karim
Although RR is without three of their best players in Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer, the replacements they sought were good buys. Evin Lewis has been in great form and so has Liam Livingstone. Unfortunately for them, neither of them has turned up so far and Samson has had to do the majority of the run-scoring.
“Rajasthan not only have to now play up to their potential but even above that. I think they are suffering because some of their big players are not scoring runs. Lewis and Livingstone got out cheaply and the entire responsibility fell on Samson’s shoulders. He batted well but needed a power-hitter at the other end.”
“If that would have happened, RR would have probably got 180 on this decent surface. They are suffering because the middle-order is not contributing. I feel for Rajasthan because they are without three quality players (Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer).
“But having said that, they do have some freshness in their approach. But nothing can be done if your top players aren’t performing,” Saba Karim further added.
Rajasthan now has four games left and they need at least three wins to have a chance of making it to the playoffs. Any negative result would mean they need to rely on other matches going their way.