Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 12 May 2012 - 09:58pm IST
Preview: Match 60 – RR v PWI
Rajasthan Royals host Pune Warriors India as race to the playoffs heats up
Match 60 of DLF IPL 2012 will see the Rajasthan Royals clash with Pune Warriors India.
Given the way the teams are stacked in the points table, it would be fair to say the two points available for the taking in this match are more crucial to RR than to PWI. The Royals have 12 points from 13 matches; a win in each of their remaining three matches will take them to 18 points and almost confirm a place in the playoffs. Anything less than that would mean their fate will be decided by results from matches involving teams.
For PWI, who are out of the reckoning from making it to the playoffs, the need of the hour is to stem their slide; they’ve lost their last seven matches and they need to start believing in themselves, and clinch “those” key moments in the game which they’ve often let go.
Sunday, May 13, 2012, 04:00 p.m.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid – as individuals and as a pair – have had the most significant influence on the Rajasthan Royals’ campaign this season. Both players have gone off the boil in the last few matches; Rahane has only mustered 22 runs in his last three innings, while Dravid has only managed scores of 14 and four in his last two knocks. The Royals will need a lot more from the pair and also quick runs from the likes of Brad Hodge, Owais Shah and Ashok Menaria if they are to force their way to into the top four.
Sourav Ganguly’s decision to keep himself out of the playing XI in the previous match against RCB fuelled speculation that we’ve seen the last of him. However, the 39-year-old clarified later that day that he had only rested himself and would be back in the thick of things from the next game. Given the news emerging from the team owners’ camp that this would be Ganguly’s last season as a player, expect the southpaw to come up with a few special performances in what could be his final few outings as a cricketer.
The Rajasthan Royals have got the better of the Pune Warriors India on both the occasions they’ve met in the IPL so far. In the first meeting between the two teams last season, RR restricted PWI to 143 for seven and chased down the target with six wickets in hand.
When these two teams met in Pune earlier this season, the visitors kept the hosts down to 125 for six and then successfully chased the target in just over 16 overs to register a convincing seven-wicket victory.
In both their seasons in the IPL, the Pune Warriors India have lost seven matches in a row.
The Rajasthan Royals will be seen in action next on May 18 when they take on the Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad., while the Pune Warriors India will host the Kolkata Knight Riders on May 19.