Following Rajasthan Royals’ fourth defeat in a row in the IPL 2020, they can really do with a bit of Ben Stokes magic for their next match. The England all-rounder, who missed the first few games of the tournament, last week flew from New Zealand to the UAE to join his RR teammates, but because he had to undergo the mandatory six-day quarantine, couldn’t play the last two games for the franchise.
Having slipped to seventh on the points-table, RR face a crunch scenario when they face Sunrisers Hyderabad next on Sunday. The biggest question heading into the match remains whether the England all-rounder will be available to play, and who better than captain Steve Smith to answer this.
“Stokes hasn’t had a lot of practice, he gets out of quarantine tomorrow, so we’ll see if he plays the day after tomorrow,” Smith said after RR’s 46-run defeat to Delhi Capitals.
After starting the season with convincing back-to-back wins, Royals’ campaign has fallen off track with defeats to Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and most recently DC on Friday. This was despite RR returning to their favourite venue – Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Smith rued RR’s results and feels the team needs to put up a better effort.
“We are not playing good enough over the 40 overs, and not executing when the pressure is coming on and you can’t win many games that way. The bowlers did a good job, and I don’t think the wicket was as good as it has been here, a bit stoppy tonight, and we gave away 10-15 extra runs,” he pointed out.
“We have to remain positive, turn things around quickly. At the moment it doesn’t seem to be going our way. I’m not batting too well either. I did feel good tonight with the bat but didn’t get hold of one that I feel like I should have.”