In Dream11 IPL 2020 Rajasthan Royals will be in a make or break situation when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Royals’ campaign this season has been marred by numerous top-order collapses, forcing the lower half to pull them across the finish line. The biggest concern especially is captain Steve Smith’s form.
The Australian batsman started the season well, scoring two consecutive fifties but since then has failed to reach double digits. His performance has raised many eyebrows. Questions about his captaincy and place in the playing XI have started doing the rounds. Some going to the extent of saying that Smith should drop himself for the sake of his IPL franchise.
So, will he have the courage to do a Dinesh Karthik?
IPL 2020: How Rajasthan Royals will sort Steve Smith predicament?
Smith had for the first time opened the innings this season. And he did not disappoint. The Australian batsmen, in the first two matches, had scored 69 against CSK and 50 against KXIP respectively. However, since then, he has failed to make a decent contribution to Rajasthan Royals‘ batting. RR has played eight games so far and barring his first two innings, Smith has struggled with the bat. In his last five matches, his totals score is 41-runs.
Taking his performance into account, he has become a weak-link in Rajasthan’s top-order. While, the other three overseas players Jofra Archer, Jos Butler and Ben Stokes have been in decent form, Smith is the only one left whom RR can rest. Royals might also think of taking away the captain’s band, just like KKR did with Dinesh Karthik and bench him, making place for David Miller. But if not Smith, who will lead Royals?
Maybe RR has already found an answer for it. Right after Kolkata Knight Riders announced that Eoin Morgan has replaced Dinesh Karthik as their captain, Royals posted a cryptic tweet about Jos Buttler replacing Steve Smith in the side as the skipper for IPL 2020. In a photo on their official Twitter handle, Rajasthan Royals posted a photo of Buttler holding a tea-cup and it is captioned, “Thankful for a boss like Jos.”
While it is still far-fetched but if Smith continues to perform the same way, it might become a possibility.
Meanwhile, besides him, RR would be hoping for Ben Stokes to perform with both bat and ball.
IPL 2020: Can Ben Stokes revive Rajasthan Royals faltering campaign?
The return of Ben Stokes has instilled a new hope in Royals’ camp. The English all-rounder has played just two matches so far. RR had taken everyone by shock, when they decided to partner him with Butler to open the innings.
Though he did not have a great start, he returned at home in his second match. Meanwhile, he is yet to make an impact with the bowl. He is key to RR’s revival in the tournament. If the Royals lose against RCB, their season would more or less be over.