IPL 2020: Royals choke, Anrich Nortje-Kagiso Rabada's top-notch death bowling, and other talking points from DC vs RR
Throughout the 40 overs between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals, we witnessed a lot of ups and downs as the pendulum kept swinging both ways. Here are some the major talking points from this closely fought fixture.
While Stokes will be an important cog in the RR wheel, the team will also have to fix its top order which has been short of runs in the last five games, leaving too much for the lower-order to get.
IPL 2020: RR aim to capitalise on Ben Stokes' possible return against SRH as they look to stay alive in league
Rajasthan are struggling at the penultimate spot on the points table after two wins and four straight defeats, while Sunrisers have won three out of their six games so far and occupy the fifth position.
Shreyas Iyer's Delhi Capitals maintain their good run this season with yet another victory. They beat Steve Smith's Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs.
IPL 2020: Back at 'happy hunting ground' Sharjah, Steve Smith's Rajasthan Royals aim to halt Delhi Capitals' march
The Royals were off to a flying start, winning both their games at Sharjah but they have struggled to adjust to the bigger grounds of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, slipping to three successive defeats.
Stokes took compassionate leave in the middle of the home Test series against Pakistan in August and travelled to New Zealand to attend to his father who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
"We wanted him to bat till the end because of those innovative shots that he has, it was quite handy towards the end," Rohit said.
IPL 2020: England's Ben Stokes to arrive in UAE on Sunday, will join Rajasthan Royals after six-day quarantine
Stokes missed the initial matches of the tournament as he was in New Zealand to be with his ailing father Ged.
Panesar said that the situation of Ben Stokes' father is not good and it is for this reason he will probably be in New Zealand.
Smith, who missed the ODI series against England, has undergone various concussion test protocols and is ready to tee off.
England head coach Chris Silverwood has no doubt that competing in a world class event like IPL will help his players prepare well for the T20 World Cup but is worried about players burning themselves out.
Royals' biggest worry has been their inability to finish games and not winning the crunch moments in the matches. The Aussie duo of Smith and McDonald will be aiming to fix it this season. But Stokes' absence will make this problem even more challenging.
England vs Australia: Dawid Malan plays down comparison with Virat Kohli, feels he's not 'anywhere near' him
Although Malan’s numbers have been improving, his average is still not at India skipper’s level as Kohli averages at 50.8 and is also the highest run scorer currently in T20 internationals with 2,794 runs in 76 innings.
Here's the full schedule for Rajasthan Royals ahead of IPL 2020.
IPL 2020: Ben Stokes may miss league's first half to be with ailing father, Rajasthan Royals yet to hear from all-rounder
Stokes, considered the world's best all-rounder right now, left for Christchurch in the middle of the Test series against Pakistan last month after his father, a former All Blacks International, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Gower spoke on how Kohli’s immense respect for the Test format will inspire youngsters to devote their time to the long format.
New Zealand-born Stokes said he had no choice but to leave the England team during its recent Test series against Pakistan after learning of his 64-year-old father's diagnosis.
Eoin Morgan believes England must field their strongest Twenty20 side as often as possible if they are to triumph at next year's T20 World Cup and replicate their 50-over global triumph.
England could be in Sri Lanka in January for a tour that was originally halted in March because of the virus outbreak before travelling to India for a Test series.
Highlights, England vs Pakistan 2020, 3rd Test, Day 1 Cricket Match at Southampton, Full cricket score: Hosts cruise to 332-4
Check out the live scorecard of third Test match between England and Pakistan being played at Southampton.