Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 16 April 2012 - 09:57pm IST
Preview: Match 20 – RR v DC
Can DC breach RR’s fortress to register their first win?
Rajasthan Royals were among the less-fancied teams at the start of IPL 2012 due to their limited resources. A couple of weeks into the competition the team from Jaipur has performed above expectations to win many supporters. They now compete against the Deccan Chargers, who are back in action after two losses and a week’s break.
Languishing at the bottom of the table, DC are still searching for their first win. In their two matches at Visakhapatnam, the Hyderabad franchise came second best; they first lost to defending champions Chennai Super Kings by a whopping 74 runs, while Mumbai Indians edged past the target off the very last ball of the match.
Tuesday, April 17, 2011, 04:00 p.m.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Ajinkya Rahane has stood tallest among the cricketers at IPL 2012, not only for the runs he has scored (which have won him the Orange Cap), but also for how he’s scored them. Despite the demands of Twenty20 cricket, the Rajasthan Royals opener has been all grace; his cover drives, drives down the ground and flicks off the pads would make any coach proud.
Owais Shah has been impressive too; the 33-year-old seems to have rediscovered himself and is turning out to be a very important part of the Rajasthan Royals’ line-up. The Englishman has scored runs every time he’s walked out to bat, as his batting strike-rate of 170 proves.
Deccan Chargers do not boast of too many pedigreed Indian batsmen in their squad; they will look at their international players to help lift from the bottom of the table. Kumar Sangakkara needs to lead by example, while the likes of JP Duminy, Cameron White and Shikhar Dhawan need to chip in runs consistently.
Dale Steyn’s four overs – and how many the opposition gets off those – could well decide the match. The top-ranked bowler in Test cricket has been breathing fire, and the Rajasthan Royals batsmen will find it tough to score off him.
Rajasthan Royals have generally dominated in matches against the Deccan Chargers. In the seven previous contests between the two teams, the former have won six, while the latter posted their only victory in their run to the IPL title in 2009.
Rajasthan Royals have an enviable record at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur; they’ve won 14 of their 19 matches at the venue.
Following this fixture, Deccan Chargers will travel to the national capital where they take on hosts Delhi Daredevils on April 19. Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, will enjoy a couple of days’ break before they fly out to Chennai to take on Chennai Super Kings on April 21.