IPL 2024: Rajasthan Royals look very well-organised, usage of impact substitute was very clever, says Tom Moody

After Rajasthan Royals opened their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 campaign with a 20-run win over Lucknow Super Giants

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) After Rajasthan Royals opened their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 campaign with a 20-run win over Lucknow Super Giants in Jaipur, former Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Tom Moody believes the 2008 IPL winners look very well-organised from the first round of matches and lauded them for using the Impact Player rule very cleverly.

At the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday afternoon, captain Sanju Samson led the batting charge from the front with an unbeaten 82 off 52 balls as RR made 193/4. The side then used pacer Nandre Burger as an Impact Player, which paid off as he and Trent Boult reduced LSG to 11/3.

Though skipper K.L. Rahul and Nicholas Pooran hit half-centuries, superb death-over bowling from Sandeep Sharma ensured that RR came out on top.

“It’s still very early days in the tournament, but just the snapshot of what I have seen over the weekend, Rajasthan Royals look very well-organised. The way they employed their impact substitute was very clever.”

“On the field, they were practically very, very sound. Their captain Sanju Samson scoring runs is a real tick for them, so for me, they look very organised. Chennai Super Kings are always organised and got off to a good start in a big match. For them, to retain that sort of dominance was really important,” said Moody in the ‘Star Sports Press Room’ virtual interaction on Monday.

RR also used Riyan Parag, who had a brilliant run with Assam in domestic cricket, at number four, a move which went well as he slammed 43 runs off just 29 deliveries with the help of four and three sixes.

“It was great to see Parag do well because there’s been a lot of scrutiny on him over the past couple of years. He was given a lot of opportunities and people have questioned his place in the playing eleven. But clearly RR have decided that this is the season, on the back of the domestic season, that we will elevate him to the top of the order.”

“They want him to own that position as they got power-hitters like Hetmyer, and others to do the finishing job. Maybe the timing of his injection at number four is very good coz he’s in-form and has now got a lot of experience in the IPL,” added Moody.

RR’s next match is against Delhi Capitals at home and the visitors arrive after losing to Punjab Kings by four wickets at Mullanpur. What really cheered up DC was the composed comeback of Rishabh Pant after 14 months of recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident in December 2022.

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who was associated with DC as their assistant coach previously, admitted that he was emotional over Pant returning to the cricket field, where he made 18 off 13, effected a stumping and took a catch, signaling that he will be back to his prime self soon.

“I think it was a very emotional moment for me because Rishabh Pant was out for almost a year and what he went through in that period, it was a very difficult phase for him. For all of us, as well as his fans, he’s been a match-winner for India, and we missed seeing him playing for the country and of course for Delhi Capitals.”

“Yes, he’s back now, fit and running and diving around. He’s kept well, ran between the wickets and batted well (in his return game), so good to see him back. Even though they lost the first game, but I am sure Rishabh Pant will play and captain well this year.”

On Friday, Royal Challengers Bengaluru will be up against Kolkata Knight Riders in a highly anticipated clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium and Kaif feels the form of Andre Russell and his match-up against Mohammed Siraj will be the key. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Russell made 64 not out off just 25 balls and took 2-25 in KKR winning by four runs.

“I think the way KKR played they look very much in control. Yes, it went till the last over, but the way Russell batted, the way Salt batted. They have the spinners; they have the fast bowlers and Harshit Rana finished the last over in style. They look quite in control, and I am going to keep them in the top four and against RCB, I would say Russell versus Siraj during the death overs would be exciting to watch.”

“I think it’s a fantastic place to play (the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium). It’s a high-scoring venue, batters are going to enjoy the bowling. It’s a short boundary. It’s a delight to bat on that pitch. And out of all the names you took, it will be exciting to see Russell the way he batted during the first game. He has already set IPL on fire.”

“It is going to be a nightmare for the bowlers because Russell is in form. Last year was not that great for him, He bowled but batting-wise, it wasn’t that great, but this year during the very first match, the way he batted is going to be very beneficial for the KKR team,” he concluded.

–IANS

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