His whirlwind 27-ball 55 at the start of the campaign raised expectations and rightly so, given the talent he possesses. But after five games, Royals look like a two-batter team with Jos Buttler and Shimron Hetymer sharing the responsibility of getting a good score on the board.
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Taking on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their next game at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, Royals would want their captain to step up. Expectations would be the same from KKR’s leader Shreyas Iyer who has fired in just one game where he scored 54 off 33 balls against Delhi Capitals.
While Samson’s series of scores read 55, 30, 8, 13 and 11, Iyer’s figures too are unflattering- 20 not out, 13, 26, 10, 54 and 28.
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Royals have so far won three out of five matches and KKR also have to their credit three wins.
While both the teams are coming into the match after a loss, KKR look ominous on paper given how Royals’ batting has shaped up and more importantly, the uncertainty over pace spearhead Trent Boult’s availability. The Kiwi pacer had to miss out the previous game against Gujarat Titans because of a niggle, and it hurt the Royals badly.
From Venkatesh Iyer to Pat Cummins, KKR’s batting stretches till No.8. On the other hand, Royals’ tail is a tad long. Problem compounds as promising batters like Devdutt Paddikal, Samson and Rassie van der Dussen are taking longer than expected to get into their groove.
It would be interesting to see how Royals youngsters Kuldeep Sen and Prasidh Krishna respond in the death overs if Andre Russell and Pat Cummins go on a rampage at the Brabourne.