Recovering from back-to-back defeats, a demoralised Rajasthan Royals will have to sort out its issues before it clashes with Royal Challengers Bangalore, whose rampaging run was brought to a halt by Kolkata Knight Riders, here on Saturday.
After a last-over win against Hyderabad in their campaign-opener, Royals suffered two successive defeats against Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings and skipper Shane Watson will quickly have to address his team’s batting and bowling issues. RCB, on the other hand, were on a high with two successive wins before KKR snatched a two-run win to leave Virat Kohli and company stunned.
RR have to better their all-round showing as both the batting and bowling have failed on separate occasions. If it was Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny who helped them narrowly cross the line in their first match, Watson and Sanju Vishwanadh came good in the next match with half-centuries to put up a good total against KXIP, but the bowlers could not defend the total.
RR’s batting then faltered against a disciplined Chennai Super Kings bowling attack. The 2008 champion has some big names like James Faulkner, Brad Hodge and Steve Smith, besides Watson, in its ranks.
But apart from Watson’s lone innings, none of the big names have set the stage on fire. Rahane and Vishwanadh came up with one good innings, but have lacked consistency.
The pace department, led by Dhawal Kulkarni and medium-pacer Rajat Bhatia, has also not made much of an impact.
Far from the days when Shane Warne used to be the spearhead, RR now lack a quality spinner as Pravin Tambe has not been very effective, with just one wicket to show from three matches.
RCB, on the other hand, have been rock solid in their batting. While Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli chased down Daredevils’s target with more than three overs to spare in the first match, it was Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers who did the job against Mumbai Indians when Yuvraj and Virat failed.
However, it failed to chase down a 150-run target against KKR despite being on course for most part of the match.
The pace trio of Varon Aaron (six wickets), Mitchell Starc (five wickets) and Albie Morkel (three wickets) has contributed in the last three matches, while young spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has also chipped in with four wickets.