We round up the IPL week as stars, Jonny Bairstow, Steve Smith sings and Royal Challenging Bangalore go quizzing.
Jonny Bairstow’s Test future may be up for debate he has not played a five day game for England since December and has just lost his red ball central contract but his white ball form remains solid. Swashbucking 97 from 55 for Sunrises Hyderabad against Kings XI Punjab, an innings which featured six sixes and seven fours, was Bairstow’s third fifty of the tournament and he just missed out on becoming the third player this season .
Jofra Archer let slip a howitzer to Mumbai Indians hardik Pandya this week that the batsman did well to get underneath. That delivery aside, Archer nine wickets in the completion at an economy rate under seven has been impressing for Rajasthan Royals, Frankly have not been with a four game losing streak preceding Sunday’s win against Sunrisers.
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Even that game looked gone for the Royals when they tumbled to 78-5 after 12 overs chasing 159 to win, only for Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag to bail them out. That comeback success could be a catalyst for Royals, as could the arrival of Ben Stokes, who missed the early part of the competition for family reasons. Sure, his first game was quiet with just one over bowled and only five runs scored, but Rajasthan will be hoping his all-round class can lift them in the second half of the campaign.
It hadn’t been a case of sing when you’re winning for Royals skipper Steve Smith with an Instagram post of him displaying his vocals and strumming his guitar coming amid Rajasthan’s barren run.
There were definitely some “he went home to get it” vibes – one for fans of The Office there – as he sang his version of ‘All I Need To See’ by Mitch Rossell but Smith’s musical mentor, Guy Sebastian, said “like his cricket, Smithy is brave and willing to put in the work”. Smith previously turned from a bit-part leg-spinner to one of the game’s premier batsmen so let’s not rule out him nailing music, too.