Rising Rajasthan look to avenge loss to RCB
High on confidence after their emphatic win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals would be eyeing revenge when they host Royal Challengers Bangalore in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match in Jaipur on Monday.
Rajasthan are presently lying third in the standings with 10 points from eight games, where as, RCB are at the top with 12 points from nine matches.
But it is the Jaipur outfit which will be brimming with confidence, especially after crushing the Sunrisers by eight wickets on Saturday.
Australian Shane Watson has been in cracking form with the bat for Rajasthan while his compatriot James Faulkner has been deadly with the ball.
Watson and Faulkner starred for Rajasthan in their win over Sunrisers. While Faulkner picked up five wickets for 20 runs to restrict Sunrisers to 144, Watson smashed an unbeaten 98 off 53 balls to overwhelm the target with consummate ease.
At home, Rajasthan hold an invincible record so far in the tournament, winning all the four games played at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.And, expectedly, the Rahul Dravid-led side would fancy their chances and would be hoping to extract revenge against RCB, who defeated Rajasthan by seven wickets when the two sides met earlier at Bangalore.
Image: Rajasthan Royals' players at a training session as captain Rahul Dravid looks on
Chandila has so far looked impressive
But things have changed since then for Rajasthan. Watson, who cracked a superb 101 against Chennai Super Kings earlier, has been in sublime form. He has so far amassed 273 runs from six games at an average of 54.60.
Dravid himself has led Rajasthan from the front and has been one the team's main contributors with the bat along with young Ajinkya Rahane.
If Dravid, Rahane and Watson provide solidity to Rajasthan's batting, Brad Hodge, Dishant Yagnik and Stuart Binny provide the flamboyance needed to accelerate.
On the bowling front in left-arm pacer Faulkner, Rajasthan has a smart customer who has emerged as the highest wicket-taker so far with 16 wickets from just six games.
Off-spinner Ajit Chandila has so far looked impressive, but Dravid would be little concerned about the form of his other bowlers as Rajasthan allowed Sunrisers to get off the hook after reducing them to 29 for 6 in their last game.Rahul Shukla, Kevon Cooper, Siddharth Trivedi, Watson and Binny all leaked runs against Sunrisers on Saturday, which might prompt Dravid to bring back temperamental S Sreesanth in the playing eleven.
Image: Off-spinner Ajit Chandila (second from right) celebrates a wicket with teammates
RCB will hope Gayle comes good against Rajasthan
RCB, on the other hand, will be short on confidence after the 58-run loss to Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
Although they are placed in a good position, RCB will be desperate to return to winning ways as they know one more defeat will not only affect their momentum but also can change things around in quick time.
The class of Chris Gayle, who has amassed 450 runs so far, is beyond any doubt and he can tear apart any attack on his day.
Gayle showed his destructing abilities during his record-breaking 175 not out against Pune Warriors a few days back, and RCB would be looking at the West Indian to produce yet another breathtaking knock to make things easier for them.
RCB boasts of a strong batting line-up as apart from Gayle, they also have the likes of skipper Virat Kohli, who has 334 runs under his belt, Tillakaratne Dilshan and A B De Villiers up their ranks.
But bowling remains a big worry for the Bangalore outfit going into tomorrow's match.
The Teams (from):
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, S Sreesanth, Shaun Tait, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Dishant Yagnik, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan, Kevon Cooper, Fidel Edwards, James Faulkner, Shreevats Goswami, Samuel Badree, Harmeet Singh, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Vikramjeet Malik, Kumar Boresa, Ashok Menaria, Kusal Perera, Sachin Baby, Sanju Samson, Owais Shah, Rahul Shukla, Amit Singh, Pravin Tambe.Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (capt), A B De Villiers, Abhimanyu Mithun, Abhinav Mukund, Andrew McDonald, Arun Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Chris Gayle, Christopher Barnwell, Daniel Christian, Daniel Vettori, Harshal Patel, Jaidev Unadkat, K P Appanna, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Moises Henriques, Murali Kartik, Muttiah Muralitharan, Pankaj Singh, Prasanth Parameswaran, R Vinay Kumar, Ravi Rampaul, Rudra Pratap Singh, S Aravind, Sandeep Warrier, Saurabh Tiwary, Sheldon Jackson, Sunny Sohal, Syed Mohammad, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Vijay Zol, Zaheer Khan.
Image: Chris Gayle