While the 42-year-old debutant Pravin Tambe of the Rajasthan Royals held his mind together in the middle overs, 34-year-old Virender Sehwag, perhaps a million times more experienced than him, couldn’t and lodged another failure as Delhi Daredevils were thrashed yet again.
The performance of the two players summed up the contrast between the two sides. Daredevils are full of big names but are languishing in the league while Rajasthan Royals’ unfancied names chug along together.
Shane Watson pointed this out as his side's strength after the game and praised skipper Rahul Dravid for leading his pack well. “Rahul enjoys a lot of respect among his teammates. It is a credit to our team environment that all those who have come in have done well,” said Watson.
When Sehwag’s name was announced earlier in the evening, a roar went up. He must have been used to this before, walking out with people screaming their lungs out. It may have even pumped up his adrenaline. But so fragile has been his reflexes of late that a slower one in the guise of a leg-cutter from left-armer James Faulkner bowled him.
As he trudged back, there was a much less hint of frustration than resignation. His partners at the top are equally devastating and enough to turn the game on its head individually. However, neither Mahela Jayawardene nor David Warner has been able to it. The Daredevils skipper did get a start on Tuesday but was unable to convert it.
Somehow, the Daredevils managed to put up 154 and that was mainly due to a rather lesser known player, Australia’s Ben Rohrer, who made a 40-ball 64.
On a track like Jaipur, 154 was a modest total. RR had done well to restrict the side. Dravid used six bowlers, and none of them barring Watson, who too is returning from injury, are Test class. That made the bowling effort commendable.
If batting has been the Daredevils’ failing, their bowlers too have struggled. They were no match against the opening combine of Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane.
The pair known to play proper cricketing shots stuck to that against an attack where the biggest and strongest name, Morne Morkel, has been going for over nine runs an over throughout the tournament. RR’s first wicket fell at 108. But by then, the writing was very much on the wall.