With two defeats on the trot, the mood in the Rajasthan Royals camp must be flat and demoralised.
With two defeats on the trot, the mood in the Rajasthan Royals camp must be flat and demoralised. And if that was not enough, the Watson-led side take on the powerhouse of Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL encounter on Saturday.
After a last-over win against Hyderabad in their first game, the Royals were brought to the ground with their successive defeats at the hands of Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. The Royals’ batting woes are worsened with none of the top order flying high. Skipper Shane Watson is out of form and so are his bowlers who have been out of depth.
The 2008 champions have some big names in the side with the likes of James Faulkner, Brad Hodge and Steven Smith and besides Watson; in their ranks none of the star players could set the stage on fire. Indian starlets, Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson have come up with one good innings but they have lacked consistency.
The pace department led by Dhawal Kulkarni and medium-pacer Rajat Bhatia have also not made much of an impact. Kane Richardson too has taken three wickets in two matches but missed the last game due to sickness. The Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the other hand are running high on success with two successive wins but not before it came to an abrupt halt against the Kolkata Knight Riders who snatched a two-run unlikely victory.
Rajasthan have every right to fear the RCB juggernaut with the likes of Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle forming an formidable top order slot. Their pace trio of Varon Aaron (six wickets) , Mitchell Starc (five wickets) and Albie Morkel (three wickets) have been consistent in the last three games while young spinner Yuzvendra Chahal continues to impress.
Rajasthan’s bowlers have to produce some top quality stuff in order to stop the RCB batsmen posting a huge total. Shane Watson and co. have to come to the party in this IPL encounter or otherwise could see yet another match slip away.
Rajasthan Royals: SR Watson (C), Amit Mishra, Ankit Sharma, AK Bains, R Bhatia, STR Binny, UBT Chand, KK Cooper, BCJ Cutting, JP Faulkner, BJ Hodge, DJ Hooda, Iqbal Abdulla, DS Kulkarni, VS Malik, KK Nair, AM Nayar, AM Rahane, KW Richardson, SV Samson, SPD Smith, TG Southee, PV Tambe, R Tewatia, DH Yagnik.
Bangalore Royal Challengers: V Kohli (C), VR Aaron, AN Ahmed, YS Chahal, AB de Villiers, AB Dinda, CH Gayle, SB Jakati, NJ Maddinson, T Mishra, JA Morkel, M Muralitharan, HV Patel, PA Patel, R Rampaul, S Rana, S Sandeep Warrier, MA Starc, YV Takawale, Yuvraj Singh, VH Zol.