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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. When
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. Previous Meetings
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. Trivia
Rajasthan Royals have an enviable record at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur; they’ve won 14 of their 19 matches at the venue. What next?
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.
PWI skipper plays down talks of his team being favourites against RCB
By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 16 April 2012
They say a good captain can make an ordinary team look unbeatable. While the Pune Warriors India are, by no means, pushovers, they did struggle to find their feet in IPL 2011. However, this year has been different, at least so far. Out of four, PWI have won three matches, and Sourav Ganguly deserves a lot of credit for instilling belief in the team.
The Warriors’ fifth encounter is an away game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Ahead of the contest, their skipper looked relaxed and cheerful as he addressed the media. “We’ve played well – won three games out of four and have defeated two top teams in CSK and MI,” Ganguly said, simultaneously guarding against any complacency by adding, “It’s still early days in the tournament, and in this format things change very quickly.”
The skipper attributed his team’s successful start in the tournament to some fine performances from his bowlers. “The bowlers have done very well – in all our four games we didn’t let the opposition get past 160 on good batting surfaces. That shows that our bowling is at the top,” he said. While the team has done well, the form of Indian batmen hasn’t been top-class so far. Robin Uthappa has done little besides a 33-ball 40 against KXIP at home. Manish Pandey has looked out of sorts.
However, true to his belief of backing and defending his players to the hilt, the skipper said, “I think Robin’s done very well. Scoring 40-odd runs is very good in T20 cricket. Don’t compare it with Test cricket. Getting 70s consistently is tough in this format.”
Ganguly himself has failed to convert handsome starts into a significant score, and he feels a good score is around the corner. “There are a few of us who’re getting quick 20s and 25s. But in this format, you’ve got to keep playing your shots. I’ve been hitting the ball well,” he said. Known as one of the best captains, not only in India but the world over, Ganguly feels captaining in the Twenty20 format is not too different from getting the job done in Tests and one-day matches.
“T20 is not as fast as people think it to be. Only the duration is shorter. I’ve enjoyed it, and you enjoy more when your team wins. “As a captain, you need to think ahead, in terms of your batting line-up, deciding who your death bowlers are going to be and such stuff. But that you have to do in every format,” Ganguly said.
Talking about the team composition for their game against RCB, Ganguly hinted at going with the winning combination. He also predicted a high-scoring contest after having a look at the Chinnaswami track. “Wicket looks good for batting. [Rajasthan Royals] got 195 in the last match. We’ll [be] playing on the same surface and I don’t think it will change much,” Ganguly conceded.
The hosts, RCB are down after losing three of their four games so far. But Ganguly doesn’t see that as an advantage for his team going into the game. “I don’t think in this format anyone is favourite. RCB has got terrific players, and hopefully, they don’t fire tomorrow as well,” the skipper said jokingly.