After a dramatic opener in which they nearly snatched a win against Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium, thanks to Yusuf Pathan's heroics, it has been all downhill for Shane Warne's men.
Rajasthan Royals made a brave effort against Sachin Tendulkar's team and put up some fight against Delhi Daredevils, but was vanquished by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Warne's team — crippled by the absence of Graeme Smith, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal — has to get its act together against Kolkata Knight Riders in its fourth league match at the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium here on Saturday. It faces an uphill task and another defeat would diminish its semifinal prospects.
Warne's plans have suffered on account of fast bowler Shaun Tait's inability to deliver in his opening burst and the lack of a quality spinner to support him. To compound Royals' problems, opener Swapnil Asnodkar and the middle-order batsmen haven't fired.
Warne tinkered with the combination against RCB and the result turned out to be disastrous. It would be interesting to see the team Warne fields against KKR. Tait and Morne Mokel might open the bowling.
While Royals strives for its first win in the competition, Sourav Ganguly's side had a successful time against Deccan Chargers and RCB before Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings outsmarted it at the Eden Gardens.
KKR, however, has fitness concerns. Fast bowlers Charl Langeveldt and Ajit Agarkar are both injured, but West Indies captain Chris Gayle is certain to play his first game of IPL III.
“I hope my presence in the team would turn out to be a good one. Hopefully, I will get a lot of runs and set it up for the team as well,” Gayle said here on Friday.