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IPL 2024: Rajasthan Royals hope to build on strong start

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JAIPUR: Rajasthan Royals would like to build on a strong start when they take on Delhi Capitals in their second IPL match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Thursday.
It was a perfect outing for Royals skipper

Sanju Samson

as he led from the front to guide his team to a 20-run victory against Lucknow Super Giants in the opening game on Sunday.
On the other hand, Delhi Capitals need to get their act together quickly after the false start against Punjab Kings, when Shikhar Dhawan’s side spoiled Rishabh Pant’s comeback party at the new venue, Mullanpur last week.

Despite the strong beginning, Royals head coach

Kumar Sangakkara

believes there’s a lot of scope for improvement. They are also wary of a Capitals onslaught.

“We did quite well to start the long season on a winning note. Almost all the batsmen did their job nicely. Bowlers also put up a fine show by defending our big total. However, there is plenty of scope for improvement. There’s a lot of potential in the side and our aim is to utilize that to our best advantage,” said Sangakkara while talking to the media on the eve of the match.
Samson played one of his best IPL innings, slamming an unbeaten 82 as the Royals amassed 193/4 after opting to bat in their previous tie. By scoring a half-century in his team’s first match of the season for the fifth successive time, Samson has served a timely reminder to the national selectors ahead of the T20 World Cup.

The most heartening thing about the Royals’ win was the batting of

Riyan Parag

. The under-performing batter came up with a brilliant 43-run knock and was involved in a big partnership with Samson.
“It was a thoughtful decision to promote Riyan to No. 4 spot and we are happy it came out well. He has been batting at the death overs in the last few seasons and doing heavy lifting for us. He didn’t do justice to his immense potential as he used to get very little time to bat. After a fruitful domestic season, we thought Riyan was the right choice for No. 4. We have a lot of hopes from him this season,” said Sangakkara.
The middle-order was a cause of worry for the Royals but Riyan’s batting, along with the presence of the inform

Dhruv Jurel

, could solve the woes for the Jaipur-based franchise. It will be a big test for Royals batsmen against the quality spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel.
The Royals’ bowling has also hit the right notes with experienced campaigner

Trent Boult

leading the charge with the new ball. The addition of

Avesh Khan

and Nandre Burger has certainly bolstered the attack. A superb three-over spell by

Sandeep Sharma

in the death overs proved fatal for KL Rahul-led side.

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