Rajasthan Royals face a tall order trying to keep their slender playoff hopes alive against 2021 Indian Premier League title chasers the Delhi Capitals on Saturday. The Royals edged past Punjab Kings by a mere two runs last time out, while the Capitals can regain first place after Chennai Super Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets on Friday.
Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
In the United States, the match (6 a.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals live on ESPN+:
With ESPN+, you’ll be able to stream every single Indian Premier League match. It also includes dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $6.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Delhi Capitals vs. Rajasthan Royals Preview
The key to victory at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi will be the matchup between Delhi’s openers and the Royals’ bowlers. It was the latter who sealed victory against the Kings, with Kartik Tyagi in inspired form. The right-arm pacer took a pair of wickets and allowed only a single run during the final over.
The performance earned the respect of Mumbai Indians star Jasprit Bumrah:
Tyagi wasn’t the only Royal who thrived with the ball. Mustafizur Rahman produced an impressive economy rate of 7.50 from four overs. If the Royals can be this stingy again, they’ll have a terrific chance to spring an upset.
The problem is not many bowlers keep Delhi batters quiet. Not when openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw are in such prolific form. Dhawan is still setting the pace in the Orange Cap standings, having posted 422 runs already this season. He also has a league-best 49 fours to his credit.
Shaw is no weak link, with the 21-year-old chipping in with 319 runs. His performance represents quite a comeback for a player who had to overcome a devastating ankle injury. Shaw recently spoke to the Capitals’ Instagram feed about his tough rehabilitation (h/t Sportskeeda’s Abhimanyu Bose):
All the physios were taking care of my ankle. I had to do icing all the time, every 20 minutes. I used to sleep sometimes, with my legs in that bucket. Icing was very important for me at that time because all my three ligaments were gone. But I recovered quite fast. They said my bones were healing quite fast. I could have been out for five months but it was only three, so I was happy.
There’s solid support for Shaw and Dhawan from skipper Rishabh Pant, who has posted 248 runs. He’ll be helped further by former captain Shreyas Iyer, who has returned from a shoulder problem. Delhi head coach Ricky Ponting made the decision to stick with Pant as captain earlier this month, but Iyer has said he respects the decision, according to the Hindustan Times.
Iyer’s acceptance of the decision has helped the Capitals avert a potentially divisive issue. Things aren’t as settled in the Rajasthan batting order, but there are a host of power hitters who can stack up fours and sixes in a hurry. Among them, skipper Sanju Samson leads the way with 281 runs, including 26 fours and 11 sixes.
Evin Lewis is another slogger who could make the difference for Rajasthan. The left-hander smashed his way to 36 from 21 balls against the Kings, while Yashasvi Jaiswal finished one run short of a half century after being caught by Mayank Agarwal.
The Royals have the arsenal to catch the Capitals cold unless Avesh Khan can maintain his form with the ball. He’s taken 14 wickets through nine games and trails only Harshal Patel of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the race for the Purple Cap.
Khan can attack with medium or fast pace, but the Capitals may be better served turning Axar Patel loose. He’s a crafty left-hander who puts plenty of spin on his deliveries and could force mistakes from Rajasthan’s heavy hitters.