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The Rajasthan Royals clash with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 40 of the Pepsi IPL 2013.
Both teams are undefeated at home so far this season but have had contrasting results in their most recent matches. While RR thrashed Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous match, RCB suffered a 58-run drubbing at the hands of Mumbai Indians.
Both teams are still placed among the top four teams in the standings though RCB have played one match more than their opponents. RR are not among the more fancied teams in the tournament, yet Dravid and his team – a very likeable team - have played a fearless brand of cricket and have outsmarted their opponents time and again.
Virat Kohli’s team will be aware that they’ve lost their three away matches this season and need to start getting results their way, given that they will be on the road for the next week.
Dravid’s team will also remember the seven-wicket defeat they received at the hands of RCB when the two teams met at Bengaluru earlier this season and will be keen to return the favour this time around.
Monday, April 29, 2013, 4 p.m
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
For RR to compete with RCB on the batting front, they will need one of either, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane or Rahul Dravid to bat for a majority of the innings. Watson is the most important batsman in the RR line-up for the simple reason that not only does he score quickly he also has the habit of scoring big. The Australian slammed the first century of the current season and narrowly missed out on a second in the previous match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Dravid and Rahane have been important cogs because they play the role of anchor and ensure the scoreboard continues to tick giving ample opportunity for the likes of Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge in the lower order to go after the bowling.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli has steadfastly denied that his team is not a one-man army – with the one man referred to being Chris Gayle. RCB have chosen to play with five specialist bowlers and that has meant that one between Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers or Kohli, one of them needs to bat out the entire twenty overs, if not the entire twenty.
The surface at the Sawai Mansingh stadium has tended to help the quick bowlers this season and that puts the spotlight on James Faulkner (RR), RP Singh, R Vinay Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat (all RCB). Previous Meetings
The head-to-head record between the Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore sways in favour of the latter. RCB have won six of the 11 matches they’ve played against RR (one of which was washed out by rains).
No visiting team has won more matches at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium than Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB have won three of the four matches they’ve played at the venue.
The Rajasthan Royals’ next fixture is against defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders on May 3. Virat Kohli and Co. meanwhile head to Pune to take on Pune Warriors India on May 2.
PWI all-rounder says his team needs to move on after RCB debacle
By Harsh Kalan
Raipur 28 April 2013
Chris Gayle’s epic 175-run knock was enjoyed by almost everyone – save for those 11 men in Pune Warriors India blues who had a forgettable day at the office. Nothing they did, with bat or ball, worked against the big man from the Caribbean, and it further derailed PWI’s already shaky Pepsi IPL 2013 campaign.
“It was an amazing innings, wasn’t it? That happens in Twenty20 cricket,” said Steve Smith, while trying to make sense of that record-breaking knock. “A player like him is arguably the best in the world in this format. That happens in Twenty20 cricket, and we will learn from that.”
Smith was, however, hopeful of a better showing against theDelhi Daredevils here in Raipur on Sunday. “It is a new game and hopefully, we can come out with a good mindset and be positive from the start. Start the game well and come out with a win at the end of it,” Smith said.
The leg-spinning all-rounder admitted that his franchise has not had a good start this season, having won just two out of their eight games thus far. But he insisted that the mood in the dressing room was positive, and that the team is still upbeat about every oncoming challenge.
“We have lost a few narrow ones that we probably should not have lost. But we just hope to continue to play good cricket, and hopefully, we can get a few wins and get some momentum coming into the end of the tournament,” Smith said.
The Australian all-rounder has been on the wrong side of results since he got to the subcontinent a couple of months ago with the national Test side. That losing streak has bled into the IPL now, and the 22-year-old hopes for his Indian voyage to end on a happy note.
“I think I started OK with the bat. Obviously, I’ve got a pretty good feel at the moment, since I’ve been here for a while now. With the Test series, I got used to batting on these kinds of wickets,” said Smith. “I just got to keep working hard in the middle and perform to my ability and try to get Pune over the line a bit more.”