Surviving for one more day yet struggling every match!
By S Sai Jagannath
There are certain team's who know how to survive and struggle both at the very same time. Although both these words seem like synonyms, when it comes to the biggest T20 cricket league they both have a very different meaning and perspective. And in IPL, RR is one of those elite teams who know how to survive through the tournament.
After winning only 3 out of 9 matches every match for RR is a knockout match till they make it to the playoffs. From the very start of the season, it felt like RR never found their right rhythm and lineup which gave rise to various team problems. Even a captain as good as Steve Smith couldn't get hold of a team's dilemma which eventually forced him to change his job from an opener to a middle-order batsman. Certainly, a lot of problems rose and RR had to win every match to survive and the struggle was too surreal. RR fired in the first couple of games but eventually, it seems they've narrowed down their team only for the top order. From no.1 to no.5 all the players that play for RR are capable of opening the innings with utmost potential and technique. This leads to a lot of problems for the captain to choose between the best. Return of Ben Stokes even made it harder not because he can bat at top order but because of the number of foreign players they want to play in their side.
To add a small cherry to their big struggle cake, they don't have a quality bowling line up. This creates a one-sided team balance in the side with top openers in the world on one hand and inexperienced bowling line up led by Jofra on the other hand. Even though with all these shortcomings they have somehow managed to survive till now. But will they be able to take a few steps further? Their batting seems unreliable and bowling is not so promising. Steve Smith seems to be a bit surprised by these UAE pitches. Can RR make the final cut?