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Rajasthan Royals go on the road for the first time this season after convincingly winning their first two matches at home. They will travel to Mumbai to take on the Mumbai Indians, who got out of jail in spectacular fashion in their away fixture against the Deccan Chargers. Needing 18 to win off the last over, Rohit Sharma rose to the occasion as he slammed Daniel Christian for two sixes (including a last-ball six), and helped his team to a famous win.
Wednesday, April 11, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Rohit Sharma was always known to be an immensely gifted cricketer and was seen as someone who could go on to play for India for a long time. Despite his talent, he 24-year-old has often disappointed his followers thanks to his poor shot selection and inconsistent form. After a poor start to DLF IPL 2012, the Mumbai lad produced a magical knock against the Deccan Chargers. His team management will be hoping he can produce such knocks on a consistent basis.
Sachin Tendulkar is likely to return to the MI set-up after missing the previous two matches due to an injury. MI have had their share of problems at the top of the order, and the Little Master will be aware that his team needs him as much for his runs as for his experience.
Rajasthan Royals’ success in the competition thus far has been built on contributions from more than just one player in their line-up. While Ajinkya Rahane produced a classic innings in the match against Kings XI Punjab, Ashok Menaria and Brad Hodge delivered the goods in the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
In his two appearances, Kevon Cooper has impressed with his all-round performances. The Trinidadian has so far been playing a supporting role, but the time is not far when he will be given the responsibility to do more. Keep an eye on Rahul Dravid for his smart decision-making. The 39-year-old has himself looked impressive with the bat, and he’s also made the best of the limited resources at his disposal.
The Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals have so far met on seven occasions, and the latter have a slight edge having won four of those games. Last season, RR won both their clashes against MI; first they won their home fixture by seven wickets, and then followed it up with a convincing 10-wicket victory when they traveled to Mumbai.
Rajasthan Royals’ Brad Hodge is 11 runs shy of becoming the leading run-getter in Twenty20 cricket. David Hussey tops the list with 4301 runs, while Hodge has 4291 runs from 146 matches.
Among players who’ve scored 1000 runs or more in Twenty20 cricket, Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard has the best batting strike-rate – 161.78
Mumbai Indians will be aware of the fact that they don’t have a great record at the Wankhede Stadium in recent times. In their last four matches at the venue, they’ve managed just one win. What next?
Following this fixture, Rahul Dravid’s boys will head out to Kolkata to take on the Kolkata Knight Riders on April 13, while the Mumbai Indians will enjoy a four-day break before hosting the Delhi Daredevils on April 16.
KKR coach sizes up his team before RCB game in Bengaluru
By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 10 April 2012
Kolkata Knight Riders may have lost their first two matches in IPL 2012, but coach Trevor Bayliss claims spirits are high in the dressing room. During his interaction with the media ahead of their game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 10, Bayliss said the team is open to making changes in the team composition and batting order to get the desired results.
On whether KKR will reshuffle their overseas players after losing the first two matches
I am sure every team goes through this. When you lose one or two games and you have more than four good international players, you are always thinking about the options and which way you might go. What we were trying to do at the start was to pick a team that suits the wicket and the opposition as well. We will have to sit down and look at the [Royal Challengers] Bangalore team and pick the best [team] that gives us the best chance to win that game.
On whether they open the batting with Gautam Gambhir given RCB’s strong spin attack
That’s certainly an option and we have spoken about it, not today but before the tournament started. We haven’t made a final decision yet, and will do it tomorrow. On whether Chris Gayle is the main threat for KKR
No. He is one of them alongside Kohli who had an exceptional tour to Australia this year. They have got a number of players who we have got to be careful of. We have got to ball well and field well against the Bangalore team.
On Yusuf Pathan
I don’t think there are too many players to score a century coming at No. 5 or 6 in T20 cricket. His role for us is to finish the innings off. In fact, he might get to bat seven to eight overs at most. Just the last couple of games he has got more overs to play, but under fair bit of pressure. He knows his role with us to finish off and it’s up to the other players to do the job up front so that he can do his job at the end of the innings. On whether Yusuf could be promoted up the order in case of top-order collapse
He could. I think his strength is against the spin bowlers, being able to hit big shots over the fence, and I am sure the opposition would be aware of it and wouldn’t bowl spin if we put him up there. Again, it is an option that we can try at some stage but [with] the batting order we have got, we can put a big score if they perform.
On mental skills coach Rudi Webster’s role with the team
He is in the background and not in front of the group. He speaks with the individuals and meets them over coffee or breakfast without my knowledge. As he says himself, he doesn’t like to be called sports psychologist as he talks common sense.
On the lack of partnerships
That’s exactly what we have spoken about even before the competition started that players have got to build an innings and put up a partnership and have wickets in hand for the last overs. Just some good bowling and some poor decision taken with the batting, adds up to it. As I said, players are very confident and upbeat and will come back harder.