Former India cricketer Saba Karim, who also served as national selector, said on Saturday that watching Rajasthan Royals play gave him the impression that they looked “to be an exhausted side”.
Following seven losses — three of them in a row — the Sanju Samson-led side despite sterling performances from the skipper has slid on the points table and are currently placed seventh with eight points from 11 games.
Their hopes of making the playoffs hang by the proverbial thread and their match against Chennai Super Kings later on Saturday will be crucial to their chances.
“I get the impression Rajasthan Royals looks to be an exhausted side. They have tried whatever is possible but for some odd reason, they have not been able to perform to their potential. They are hard done by the fact that they are missing on out so many match-winners. Whoever they have played in their XI, they haven’t been able to perform to their potential,” Karim said on cricket.com.
“Big worry for Rajasthan Royals, because in the second leg (in Dubai), Chris Morris has not been able to perform with the bat or ball. Liam Livingstone came with a terrific reputation; he has not put up runs on the board. It’s up to Sanju Samson how much a young lad like Samson (can) shoulder responsibility. He did get some support in the last game with Evin Lewis coming back. That is not enough. Especially when you are playing CSK (later on Saturday), you need to be at the top of your game. I don’t see that happening with RR,” he added.
On the other hand CSK have already made the playoffs and Karim feels skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni could even play an unchanged side against RR.
“MS Dhoni’s captaincy is stamped on CSK. That is the way he led the Indian side. If you recall, his term as the captain of the national team, I was there as the selector from 2012-2016. Even the series was wrapped up, he would insist on playing the same XI players available because he believes that if you have to get into the XI, you have to work hard and earn your position,” Karim said.