With the fight for a playoff berth getting stiffer, lack of substantial contributions from these seasoned campaigners has upset Royals’ plans.
IPL 2023: Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Titans look to get back to winning ways
After starting the season with three fifties in four games, it looked like last year’s highest run-scorer Buttler would continue from where he left off. But his struggles in the last five games, including two ducks, offered indication of a slump in the English batter’s form.
So far in nine matches the Royals’ opener has scored 289 runs at (SR 138.94).
At this stage of the IPL, he is nowhere close to his usual dominating self. To complicate matters, Royals captain Samson does not have great figures either. He has been inconsistent, managing 212 runs in nine games (average 23.56), although at a fairly healthy strike rate of 150.35.
The unflattering Samson is yet to lead from the front.
Royals will expect their star batters to show up in full force when they next meet Gujarat Titans in their backyard at the SMS Stadium here on Friday.
Table-toppers Titans and thirdplaced Royals both come into the game after defeats in their previous outing.
While the teams look equally matched in the bowling department, Titans’ middle-order seems to carry more weight with the presence of proven hitters like David Miller, Rahul Tewatia and Vijay Shankar. Stopping them will be quite a task for Royals.