Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 09 May 2012 - 11:21pm IST
Preview: Match 56 – RR v CSK
Dhoni and co. take on Rajasthan Royals in their fortress
Match 56 of DLF IPL 2012 will feature a contest between the Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings.
Given the way the teams are closely packed, this game is critical to both the teams. RR are marginally ahead in the standings with 12 points from 12 matches, while CSK have one point more from just as many games.
Both teams come into this contest with contrasting fortunes; RR thrashed the Pune Warriors India in their previous outing, while CSK ended on the wrong side in a thrilling match against the Mumbai Indians.
Thursday, May 9, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
With the young Ajinkya Rahane stealing the limelight – and deservedly so – the performance of his captain Rahul Dravid has almost gone unnoticed. 39 years old now, and having retired from the international game, Dravid’s enthusiasm in this format has been refreshing; his performance has been overshadowed by Rahane and the other stroke-makers in the team. Still, he has managed to score enough runs to be the team’s second-highest run-getter. The way Dravid has handled the limited resources he has at his disposal and the way players have responded to him have been heartening to see.
After scoring just 153 runs in his first eight outings in the tournament, Suresh Raina finally seems to be coming to the party. The southpaw has looked good in his last three outings (112 runs), and given how important a role how he plays in CSK’s plans, his team will be hoping he can build on those performances and win a couple of matches singlehandedly.
The coming to form of Murali Vijay too must be good news for CSK supporters; the 28-year-old was woefully out of form in the initial few games and would go on to be dropped. But in the previous match against the Mumbai Indians, he announced his return to form with a fluent 41 off 29 balls.
Underdogs then, the Rajasthan Royals surprised many when they beat the Chennai Super Kings on all three occasions (including in the title clash) in the inaugural season of the IPL.
Since then though, CSK have dominated their contests against RR – they’ve won six of the next seven matches, including the last four meetings between the two teams.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams, CSK restricted RR to 146 for four and then chased it down off the last ball.
The Chennai Super Kings have only managed to win one of their five away matches so far this season; they beat the Deccan Chargers in their backyard and then lost to the Delhi Daredevils, the Mumbai Indians and the Pune Warriors India, while their match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore had to be abandoned because of rains.
The Rajasthan Royals have scored the most boundary fours this season – they've hit 193 fours in their 12 matches so far.
If he happens to play this game, Siddharth Trivedi will move ahead of Shane Warne to become Rajasthan Royals’ most capped player; this will be his 56th IPL game for RR.
The Rajasthan Royals have scored the most 50-plus partnerships this season – they’ve put together 14 half-century stands in their 12 matches.
The Chennai Super Kings will next be seen in their home fixture against the Delhi Daredevils on May 12, while the Rajasthan Royals will be seen in action the following day when they host the Pune Warriors India in the afternoon game.