Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 02 May 2013 - 07:27pm IST
Preview : Match 47 – KKR vs RR
RR’s consistency against KKR’s big names
Kolkata Knight Riders, currently placed seventh in the standings with three wins from ten matches, take on third-placed Rajasthan Royals in Match 47 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
KKR, the defending champions, are a far better team than their numbers this season suggests. When everything falls in place, they can be a very difficult team to beat. Their three wins this season have been with convincing margins; they beat Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab by six wickets and then thumped Sunrisers Hyderabad by 48 runs. However, days when the batting and bowling have clicked together have been far and few and that has hurt the team. KKR have six matches remaining – including this match – and KKR’s chances of making it to the Play-Offs are fast slipping out.
Rajasthan Royals may not have too many match-winners in their squad. But each player in the team plays without any pressure and contributes more than what is expected of him. RR have won six of their nine matches this season – which includes wins against the formidable Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Friday, May 3, 2013, 8 p.m
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
KKR have generally done well in the bowling department; the bowlers have dismissed at least half the opposition side in seven of their ten matches so far. Sunil Narine is among the top five wicket-takers this season. It is the batting that is a reason of worry for the defending champions. Gautam Gambhir – who has a massive influence on KKR’s fortunes - has managed only 22 runs in the last three matches (even if he was unfortunately run out without facing a delivery in the previous match). With Jacques Kallis dropping anchor and scoring at just about a run-a-ball, KKR need quick – and big - runs from Gambhir, Brendon McCullum and Eoin Morgan.
Rajasthan Royals are absolutely sure about how to go about things and that clarity of thought has helped them immensely. Every player in the XI has clear, defined roles. The formula of having one of Ajinkya Rahane or Rahul Dravid drop anchor and play through most part of the innings has worked fantastically for RR. Shane Watson is crucial to the team’s fortunes; not only does the Australian get runs quickly, but he plays the big knocks as well. Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge have generally had the platform to launch and play those impact-cameos at the end of the innings.
The Rajasthan Royals have won six of their eleven matches against the Kolkata Knight Riders. When the two teams met at Jaipur earlier this season, the hosts posted 144 runs and then bowled out the defending champions for 125 to win by 19 runs.
Rajasthan Royals though will be aware that they have won only once in four outings at Kolkata and will be keen to get another win on the board.
Rajasthan Royals have conceded the fewest sixes of all the nine teams this season – 30.
Four of the five matches played at the Eden Gardens this season have been won by teams chasing.
The Kolkata Knight Riders will have a three-day break before they take on the Mumbai Indians at Mumbai on May 7. Rajasthan Royals meanwhile head back home to take on Pune Warriors India on May 5.