Ahmedabad : It’s still early days in the IPL but the teams that finished in the top two last season – Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals – have continued from where they left off .
Royals are perched on top of the table with six points from four matches and a healthy net run rate of 1.588 while the Titans are third in the table with the same number of points from four matches , albeit with a lower net run rate of 0.341 .
So when the defending champions take the field against last season’s runner up at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday , a cracker of a contest can be expected .
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Butler have been a formic dabble opening combination for the Royals and the rest of the batting unit hasn’t got a chance to flex its muscles . While Jaiswalhas hit two five ties and accumulated 135 runs this season at a strike rate of 160.71 , the England white – ball captain is striking at a rate of 170 and has mustered 204 runs so far .
Titans ‘ new – ball bowlers Mohammed Shame and Josh Little too have livened up the matches so far with their
hostile bowling and how they operate against Jaiswal and Butler could well decide which way the match is headed .
While Royals captain Sanju Samson ( 97 runs from four outings ) hasn’t exactly set the tournament on fire with his stroke play , his counterpart Hardik Pandya too has been short of runs . Pandya , who sat out the defer at against KKR here , returned for the contest against Punjab Kings . His batting hasn’t clicked yet and he has made just 21 runs from three matches .
The use of off – spinner R Ashwin as a floater in the lineup has had limited success but it has increased the depth of the lineup , allowing the likes of West Indi Shimon Helmer , as ‘ Dhruv Jerel and allrounder der Jason Holder to use the long handle .