Rajasthan Royals (RR) have lost three games in a row and their chances of making it to the playoffs is hanging by a thread. They are up against the top-placed side in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which makes their task all the more difficult.
Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim feels that RR are an exhausted side as nothing they seem to be doing at the moment is paying off.
“I get the impression, Rajasthan Royals looks to be an exhausted side. They have tried whatever is possible but for some odd reason, they have not been able to perform to their potential. They are hard done by the fact that they are missing on out so many match-winners. Whoever they have played in their XI, they haven’t been able to perform to their potential,” Karim said on Cricket.com’s Man vs Machine.
“Big worry for Rajasthan Royals, because in the second leg, Chris Morris has not been able to perform wither with the bat or ball. Lam Livingstone came with a terrific reputation, he has not put up runs on the board. It’s up to Sanju Samson…how much a young lad like Samson shoulders responsibility. He did get some support in the last game with Evin Lewis coming back. That is not enough. Especially when you are playing CSK, you need to be at the top of your game. I don’t see that happening with RR,” he added.
CSK, on the other hand, are flying high and have already made it to the playoffs. However, Karim, who was India’s selector between 2012 and 2016 reckons MS Dhoni will not make many tweaks th the combination despite CSK being confirmed a top four spot.
“MS Dhoni’s captaincy is stamped on CSK. That is the way he led the Indian side. If you recall, his term as the captain of the national team, I was there as the selector from 2012-2016. Even the series was wrapped up, he would insist on playing the same XI players available because he believes that if you have to get into the XI, you have to work hard and earn your position,” Karim, who has played one Test and 34 ODIs for India said.
“If all the players are fit and had done well, he would persist with them. That somehow gives a sense of security to all the players and they would want to perform not just for their respective team but also for Dhoni as he is the one who is backing them as a player. I think it bodes well for the CSK side that Dhoni once again has stuck only with 14 players this season,” he added.
Following their contest with three-time champions CSK, RR take on defending champs Mumbai Indians (MI) and finally will come up against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The path to the playoffs as far as RR are concerned looks anything but straightforward at the moment.