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IPL 2019, SRH vs RR: Why Rajasthan Royals’ middle order is a cause for concern ahead of Sunrisers Hyderabad clash

In the last IPL season, Rajasthan Royals’ middle order (Batting position no. 4 to 7) scored only 730 runs, which was the lowest by a middle order for any team.

cricket Updated: Mar 29, 2019 15:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IPL 2019,SRH vs RR,Rajasthan Royals
File image of Steve Smith.(AFP)

The Rajasthan Royals made it to the play-offs of IPL 2018 on the back of incredible performances by Jos Buttler. The Englishman, who changed the fortunes of the side once he was asked to open the batting, scored 548 runs in 13 matches at an average of 54.80. Buttler scored five half-centuries in the tournament. However, the Rajasthan middle order contributed very little to its team’s success in the IPL last year.

Last season, RR’s middle order (Batting position no. 4 to 7) scored only 730 runs, which was the lowest by a middle order for any team. Their middle order contributed just 32.07% of their total runs last season, which was also the lowest. Their top order contributed 61.07% of their total runs.

Their middle order averaged just 15.87, which was the lowest average by a middle order contingent for a team last season.

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In IPL 2018, Rajasthan’s middle order mostly consisted of Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny and Krishnappa Gowtham. In this season, Steve Smith has bolstered the middle order, but the story remained the same in their first encounter against Kings XI Punjab.

In their previous match, the top order scored 126 runs out of the 170 runs which amounts to 74.11% of their total runs. Their middle order collectively scored just 30 runs out of which 20 were scored by Steve Smith alone. The trio of Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi and Krishnappa Gowtham managed just 10 runs collectively.

Their collapse in the previous match was drastic as they lost 7 wickets in the span of 20 balls scoring just 22 runs.

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 15:50 IST