Rajasthan Royals may have won 2 of their first 3 wins in the IPL 2018 season but a lot of that is down to Sanju Samson taking the responsibility on his own shoulder after a poor start to the innings for the RR team 2018. Prior to the start of this season, RR 2018 squad looked the strongest in terms of top-order batting, especially in the powerplay. RR team 2018 have D’Arcy Short, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rahul Tripathi IPL 2018 as the options to open the innings, however, RR team 2018 are reluctant on not using Rahul Tripathi IPL 2018 in the top order despite his immense success in that role with Rising Pune Supergiants last season. We saw the very best of IPL Rahul Tripathi last season where he was tonking the ball for fun and bowlers had no clue how to stop Rahul Tripathi. However, with 3 games gone, and Rajasthan Royals failing to get a good opening start in either of those matches, we take a look at the 3 reasons why Rahul Tripathi must open the innings for RR Team 2018.
1). Rahul Tripathi is a Powerplay batsman
In IPL 2017, only Chris Lynn averaged a better strike rate in the powerplay overs, while Tripathi had the best runs-per-game average in IPL 2017. Tripathi’s powerplay strike rate in the IPL 2017 was over 170 and he averaged 33 runs per innings, which was phenomenal. In the end, Tripathi ended with 391 runs in 14 innings with a strike rate of 146.44. Cut to IPl 2018, Tripathi is being wasted at number 6 where he has just faced 31 deliveries and yet has managed to score 46 runs at a strike rate of 148.38. Rahul Tripathi IPL 2018 is a proper powerplay batsman where he can change the course of a cricket match if he stays for 2-3 overs at the top. RR team 2018 need to increase the number of boundaries scored in their powerplay overs and they have the perfect player in Rahul Tripathi to do just that.
2). Batting profiles of Rahul Tripathi and Ajinka Rahane
Speaking of Rahul Tripathi IPL 2018, he has been asked to bat at number 6 or 7 with Ajinkya Rahane being tasked with opening the innings for RR team 2018. However, we all have seen that Rahane is gradually becoming a middle-order batsman for India and no-longer opens for his national side with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan more suited to that role. Rahane is the ideal player for the RR team 2018 to bat through the innings given how Rahane is surrounded by some of the best hitters in world cricket. Rahane at number 3 will be ideal for RR team 2018 with Rahul Tripathi IPL 2018 opening the innings and taking the team to a flying start.
In case of an early wicket, Rahane can come in and steady the ship. Then RR team 2018 have Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler coming down the order who need a calming influence around them to take the Royals to strong finish in the innings. Rahane’s strike rate last season was 118.26 which has elevated a wee bit to 128 which still is not enough given the options RR team 2018 have in terms of power hitting. Pushing Rahul Tripathi IPL 2018 to open the innings for RR team 2018 will only help the team to set bigger targets and chase any total down.
3). Rahul Tripathi can help lift D’Arcy Short’s game
D’Arcy Short has found it hard to get going in the IPL 2018 and the biggest reason for that has been the expectation of going hard from ball one. Short was unfortunately run-out in first 2 innings of the IPL 2018 season and has hardly got going so far this season. This is also his first time playing in India which has further put pressure on him. Having said that, RR team 2018 must stick with Short at the top-order as he is a match winner in every right and put Rahul Tripathi IPL 2018 to open the innings with him. With Tripathi at the top order, Short will not be under any pressure to score quick runs and can take his time to get his eye in which can only be a good news for the RR team 2018.