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IPL 2018: Jos Buttler’s absence a huge blow for Rajasthan Royals, says Jaydev Unadkat

Jaydev Unadkat is confident Rajasthan Royals are not short of options when it comes to replacing Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes in the playing XI for the rest of the Indian Premier league (IPL 2018).

cricket Updated: May 18, 2018 19:33 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
IPL 2018,Royal Challengers Bangalore,Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler scored 548 runs in 13 games in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2018), at a strike-rate of 155.4, with five consecutive fifties.(AFP)

It was a season to remember for England cricket team’s Jos Buttler in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2018). The Rajasthan Royals opener scored 548 runs in 13 games at a strike-rate of 155.4, and his five consecutive fifties played a major role in keeping his side in the play-offs race. (IPL points table)

However, he and Ben Stokes had to leave due to national team duty and RR will be without their two international stars as they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a must-win match on Saturday.

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Fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat admitted that Buttler’s absence is a huge blow to the hosts but he believes that RR are not short of options when it comes to their replacements.

“(Jos) Butler was our best batsmen till now and his absence will surely be felt. However, the players who will replace him and Stokes will be motivated to justify their selection and it will be unfair to put extra pressure on them ahead of such a crucial encounter,” he said.

“The good thing about Rajasthan Royals is that we are not short of options. There are some international players who are extremely talented and this will be a great opportunity for them to shine,” Unadkat added at the pre-match press conference in Jaipur on Friday.

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RCB are currently on a three-match winning run and the biggest factor behind their resurgence has been the performances of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. The duo has batted brilliantly in the last few games and Unadkat confirmed that the hosts have special strategies in place for the two stalwarts.

“Virat (Kohli) and AB (De Villers) are playing brilliantly at the moment and we have special strategies in place for both of them. The problem with RR this season has been the inconsistency. We have been good in patches and we cannot afford to slip up in tomorrow’s game,” he said.

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Unadkat also described RCB as a ‘ruthless’ team and said that Virat Kohli’s aggressive brand of captaincy is a huge asset for them. However, when it comes to Saturday’s crucial encounter, he said that Rajasthan Royals will have a slight edge over their opponents as they will play in their home conditions.

“RCB are a ruthless side just like their captain. They like to play fearless cricket and their batting unit is one of the best in the tournament. But, we will be ready to counter attack and I believe that playing the last group stage encounter at our home ground will be a huge advantage for us,” he said.

First Published: May 18, 2018 19:30 IST