Home > 

Buttler Departs for England Duty Royals Face Kings Without Star Opener

The cricket arena in Guwahati was set for a riveting encounter as Rajasthan Royals took the strategic decision of batting first after their skipper Sanju Samson won the toss in the 65th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season against a determined Punjab Kings side. However, the game came with a notable absence; English cricket aficionado Jos Buttler was conspicuously missing from the Royals’ lineup.

Buttler’s absence could be felt not just in the Royals’ camp but among fans as well, as he departed early to join the national team ahead of England’s upcoming T20I series against Pakistan. His departure marked a significant change for the Royals, as this provided the perfect platform for England’s uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore to step into the limelight for his debut IPL cap.

“We’ll bat first in these conditions,” articulated an optimistic Samson. He highlighted the Royals’ comfort in their “second home,” emphasizing the team’s preparation and the absence of dew factors that often influence match outcomes. The calm and composed skipper alluded to the relaxed atmosphere in the camp following the qualification for the playoffs while expressing confidence in the fresh face of Kohler-Cadmore and the potential inclusion of Ferreira as an impact substitution.

The narrative of international duty over club commitment wasn’t singular to Rajasthan Royals. The Punjab lineup also missed the prowess of Liam Livingstone as he went to join his national side, echoing the practice of English players exiting the IPL tunnel to convene for the T20 World Cup 2024 preparations. Australian pacer Nathan Ellis marked his season debut for Punjab Kings, adding an exciting dynamic to their bowling attack.

Speaking to the pre-match nerves and expectations, Punjab King’s all-rounder Sam Curran conveyed a resolve to end the league with pride despite the uphill battle his team faced. “We’ve had a really good squad but some of those games we didn’t win the big moments,” Curran reflected, acknowledging the team’s near-miss at qualifying, attributing it to not seizing crucial opportunities.

Rajasthan’s playing XI, featuring the likes of Jaiswal, Samson himself, and the fiery Yuzvendra Chahal among others, looked formidable on paper despite the absence of Buttler. With Jurel, Powell, and Ashwin rounding out a balanced side, the Royals aimed to prove their mettle once again.

Their counterparts, Punjab Kings, weren’t light on talent either. With a mixture of youth and experience from players like Prabhsimran Singh, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran wearing the captain’s cap, and Arshdeep Singh, the Kings readied themselves for a spirited tussle on the pitch. Their playing XI was infused with the energy of impactful subs waiting in the wings, demonstrating the depth and strategic acumen of both franchises.

The pitch at Guwahati, known for its batting-friendly disposition, awaited the clash of cricketing philosophies as Royal’s precision faced King’s aspiration. With Rajasthan Royals aiming to fortify their standings and Punjab Kings fighting for their pride, the match promised to escalate into a spectacle of strategic finesse and raw cricketing talent on display. Amidst the shadow of international duties and the cacophony of IPL’s fervor, Guwahati prepped to witness a game that was anything but routine.