Rajasthan Royals, who put in a sterling performance in their opening fixture against Kings XI Punjab, take on Kolkata Knight Riders in match 7 of IPL 2012. Gautam Gambhir’s KKR went down to the Delhi Daredevils in their opening fixture at the Eden Gardens, and they will be keen to flush that defeat out of their system and get on the winning track.
Sunday, April 8, 2011, 04:00 p.m.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Rajasthan Royals’ Ajinkya Rahane showed in the match against KXIP that Twenty20 cricket is not all about slogging. Most of the shots the 23-year old played in his innings of 98 were straight out of the MCC coaching manual and would have made the purists proud. Rahul Dravid too looked sharp with the bat and when it came to marshalling his resources.
Look out for the exciting Kevon Cooper who demonstrated his all-round skills on his IPL debut. Like fellow Trinidadians Brian Lara and Dwayne Bravo, Cooper too is an electric cricketer, who will make things happen – he had a role to play in seven out of the nine dismissals in his debut game.
Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum and Yusuf Pathan have lofty reputations, and they will need to deliver the goods for KKR to do well.
In the eight matches between the Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL so far, the latter have an edge with four wins, while the former have won three matches. One match – the first fixture in the 2009 season at Cape Town – ended in a tie after both teams finished their 20 overs with 150 runs apiece.
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium is certainly a “fortress” for the Rajasthan Royals; they’ve won 13 out of their 18 matches at the venue.
Ajinkya Rahane’s 98 in the previous match against Kings XI Punjab is the highest individual score at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Sunil Narine’s economy-rate of 4.95 is among the best in Twenty20 cricket. Only Trinidad and Tobago’s Samuel Badree (4.40) has a better economy rate in this format.
Gautam Gambhir’s boys head down south to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 10. The Rajasthan Royals – after two home fixtures – will step out for their first away match when they travel to Mumbai to take on the Mumbai Indians on April 11.