Royals vs Titans brings together the best in class from IPL 2023

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By Webdesk

Large image: A little bit of love for the Titans

Has anyone else watched Gujarat Titans and got major CSK vibes? #Hearmout

They have a captain who thrives under pressure. A coach who supports him no matter what. A fast bowler who is a power play phenomenon. A spinner that is very hard to hit (CSK used to have that with R Ashwin). And players who look like they have a lot of job security.

Take Vijay Shankar for example. Last season he made 17 runs in 35 balls. Titans knew he was better than that. They have entrusted him with a mid-table spot in seven out of nine games so far and the result of that confidence is that he currently has the highest strike rate (290) of any batter who has experienced at least 24 pitches in death overs. People from the outside say that players who go to CSK are thriving. What will they say of a team that has helped them blossom with a former CSK player who failed to blossom at CSK?

Rajasthan Royals has built themselves a T20 powerhouse team. Proven performers at the two most crucial positions in a T20 batting line-up – the top and dead – and great variety in their bowling attack. It will therefore sting that they have lost (4) as many matches as they have won (5), including their last match where Yashasvi Jaiswal appeared to have won single-handedly. Doing double play over the defending champions may be just what you need to do to bounce them back.

Team news: Little ready to go

Josh Little was outstanding in his first IPL season, taking five wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 8.5 while mainly operating in the power play and death. Titans will be able to use him against Royals, but he will leave India after this match to play for Ireland in an ODI series crucial to their chances of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup.

Rajasthan Royals: LWLLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Gujarat titans: LWWWL

Kuldeep Sen didn’t have the best time in the last match, but there is slightly more real estate in Jaipur, where this match will be played, than in Mumbai. So maybe he will get a second chance as an Impact Player. If not, Royals could go back to left arm Kuldip Yadav, who did well on his IPL debut last week, taking 1 for 18 in three overs.

Royals Probably XII: 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt & wk), 4 Devdutt Padikkal, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Dhruv Jurel7 Jason Holder, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 Trent Boult, 12 Kuldip Yadav/Kuldeep Sen

Wriddhiman Saha has averaged 16 from nine games but he is the Titans wicket-keeper so it is unlikely they will play in his spot. Moreover, they like to give their players time to get better. His opening partner Shubman Gill is likely to turn Sub on or off with fast bowler Mohit Sharma

Titans Probably XII: 1 Shubman Gill2 Wriddhiman Saha, 3 Hardik Pandya (capt), 4 Vijay Shankar, 5 David Miller, 6 Abhinav Manohar, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Noor Ahmed, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Josh Little, 12 Mohit Sharma

Stats and Trivia: Best vs Best

Since IPL 2018, the average first innings score at Sawai Man Singh Stadium is 164. During the same period, fast bowlers have taken more wickets than spinners (97 vs 64), but spinners have been more economical (7.4 vs 8.6) . The weather is fair for the game.

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