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Match 30 of the Pepsi IPL 2013 features the Chennai Super Kings taking on Rajasthan Royals. Both teams have won four of their six matches so far this season. CSK’s win over KKR took them one place above RR in the standings. RR were second prior to their previous match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Bengaluru. But the 7-wicket defeat in that match resulted in a slip to fourth place in the standings.
RR need to be cautious and mindful of history, for their current situation mirrors their performance last season. The team had won four of its first six matches last season too, but managed only a further three wins in the remaining ten matches in the season.
CSK meanwhile will realise that they have been defeated at home twice this season and cannot afford any more losses. Dhoni’s lads have made up for the setbacks at home by winning all their three away fixtures. But considering they are among the favourites to go the distance, CSK need to start performing consistently, start getting ruthless and not give opponents a chance to score points in Chennai.
Monday, April 22, 2013, 8 p.m
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
“Mr. Cricket” Michael Hussey is one of the three most important batsmen in the CSK ranks. In his role as opener, Hussey has more often than not helped his team off to sound starts and that has meant the likes of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni have a platform to launch from.
The Rajasthan Royals have more often than not done well when Ajinkya Rahane or Rahul Dravid have dropped anchor. Despite not being known for playing the unorthodox strokes that is so common in this format of the game, Rahane and Dravid have scored runs at more than a run-a-ball and ensured the scoreboard is always ticking. The elevation of Stuart Binny in the batting order seems to be working well for the Royals; the Karnataka all-rounder has played cameos in a couple of matches this season and the team will hope he will add consistency to his game.
The Chennai Super Kings have dominated their contests against the Rajasthan Royals.
RR won their first three matches against CSK, including the final of the inaugural IPL season but since then CSK have dominated winning 7 of the 8 matches. CSK are undefeated in their last five matches against RR starting with their home fixture in the 2010 season.
13 runs separate KKR’s Gautam Gambhir and CSK’s Suresh Raina in the list of the top run-getters in the IPL; Raina has scored 2339 runs while Gambhir has 2326 runs.
Rajasthan Royals’ Brad Hodge is the only player to score more than 500 boundary fours in Twenty20 cricket; he has hit 562 fours in this format.
The Chennai Super Kings remain at home to play the second of their three back-to-back home games. Their next fixture is against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 25. The Rajasthan Royals will enjoy a brief break before they host Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 27.
Adam Gilchrist’s Kings XI Punjab host Pune Warriors India in Match 29 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
Both teams have several things in common. Both teams have so far won two matches. Both teams have gone past the 150-run mark only once so far this season. Both teams lost their most recent matches to the Sunrisers Hyderabad. And both teams definitely have major worries in the batting department.
Aaron Finch is the only PWI batsman to score a half-century this season while no KXIP batsman has breached the 50-run mark so far. For them to start competing better, the batsmen will need to start piling runs on the board and give the bowlers a chance. When
Sunday, April 21, 2013, 8 p.m
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
KXIP’s problems start at the top; their skipper Adam Gilchrist has so far managed only 57 runs in five innings. In a team which lacks too many other match-winners, KXIP need many more runs from their skipper. David Hussey has been the only consistent performer for KXIP so far this season and the team will expect him to continue contributing runs. The likes of Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra have impressed with brief cameos, but they need to quickly learn the knack of converting good starts into big scores.
The common factor in PWI’s two victories so far this season has been the foundation laid by their openers. The ploy of Finch going after the bowlers and Robin Uthappa dropping anchor has worked perfectly for the team. If they can provide their team with starts on a consistent basis, the middle order comprising the dangerous Yuvraj Singh and Steve Smith can flourish towards the end.
On the bowling front keep an eye on the two Kumar’s – Praveen and Bhuvneshwar. Both bowlers have been miserly and seem to have the knack of picking up wickets in the first over. Then there’s the battle between the two leg-spinners – Rahul Sharma and Piyush Chawla.
Pune Warriors India held their own in the first three meetings with Kings XI Punjab. However, since then KXIP have come back strongly to win the last two matches.
Kings XI Punjab opened their Pepsi IPL 2013 campaign against PWI at Pune. On that occasion, KXIP restricted the hosts to 99 for 9 and then chased down the runs in 12.2 overs, registering a convincing 8-wicket win.
KXIP’s David Hussey is 55 runs short of 5000 runs in Twenty20 cricket. Only Brad Hodge & Chris Gayle have scored more than him in the 20-over format.
Both teams will next be seen in action on April 23. While Kings XI Punjab head to the National capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors India fly out to the IT capital of India (Bengaluru) to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore.