Former Indian player Saba Karim feels Rajasthan Royals need at least one quality spinner in their playing XI if they want to improve their record in the middle-overs (7-15). Rajasthan (9.1) have the worst economy rate in this phase in IPL 2021. The Sanju Samson-led side had an outstanding chance to take a two-point lead over Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians but ended up losing against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday.
Mahipal Lomror and Rahul Tewatia have failed to put enough pressure on the opposition, and conceded 54 runs combined in six overs against Hyderabad. The Rajasthan spinners have operated at an average of 79.8 and an economy rate of 9.6 in this season. They have bowled 50 overs of spin but only managed six wickets.
“They have also made some strange team selections. I can’t understand why they would have Rahul Tewatia and Mahipal Lomror as their fifth bowlers. 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,” Karim told Cricket.com.
“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.”
Samson slammed 82 off 57 deliveries against Hyderabad but didn't find much support from other batters. Yashasvi Jaiswal (23-ball 36) looked good but Rajasthan will need Evin Lewis and Liam Livingstone to step if they want to make it to the playoffs. The Royals managed 164 in their 20 overs, which Hyderabad chased down in 18.3 overs, thanks to fifties from Jason Roy and Kane Williamson.
"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.
"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.”
The Royals are placed sixth in the points table and will play Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next encounter on Wednesday.
“The way RCB played against Mumbai Indians, I think they would really fancy their chances against Rajasthan. They seem to be in good form. Wonderful to see Virat Kohli back amongst runs. Glenn Maxwell too and Harshal Patel has been picking wickets. They have got a good combination going and should win this game.”