Steven Smith
Steven Smith
Agencies

Abu Dhabi

Things are not looking good for Steven Smith led Rajasthan Royals, and their encounter against Mumbai Indians calls for shuffling in the side.

Rajasthan Royals may need to rejig their Indian line-up slightly when they try to pull their IPL campaign out of the current rot against a supremely confident Rohit Sharma-led side here on Tuesday.

Starting with a bang at Sharjah on a conducive batting surface, Royals have suddenly hit a slump on bigger grounds of Dubai and Abu Dhabi with their willow-wielders not looking half as menacing as they did during the first two games.

Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, have been solid in their last couple of games and are currently on top of the table by virtue of a better net run-rate compared to Delhi Capitals, also on six points.

After a heart-breaking loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 'Super Over', the defending champions bounced back in style, defeating Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad by 48 and 34 runs respectively.

The best part of MI's campaign so far is that they have ticked almost all the boxes with skipper Rohit Sharma (176) in good touch and now Quinton de Kock also looking ominous.

Kieron Pollard is consistent as ever, Ishan Kishan has looked solid and Hardik Pandya is also finishing games with the bat. Hardik's brother Krunal joined the party in the last game.

MI's replacement pacer James Pattinson (seven wickets) has been a revelation alongside the redoubtable Jasprit Bumrah and the crafty Trent Boult. Once Hardik starts bowling, all the pieces of the puzzle will nicely fit in.

In contrast, Royals would like to arrest the slide before Ben Stokes completes his quarantine and is available from the October 11 game.

One of the primary reasons of their fall has been the poor form of Jos Buttler (47 runs from three games) along with yet another dismal show from Jaydev Unadkat (one wicket from four games at 9.97 economy). The young Riyan Parag has also seemed completely out-of-depth unlike last year.

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