An upbeat host and a resilient visitor are all set to test each other’s mettle in the IPL match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday night.
In the recent past, Royal Challengers Bangalore has encountered two nail-biting contests, inclusive of a Super Over flourish against Delhi Daredevils, while Rajasthan Royals has extended its giant-killing act with the latest scalp being Mumbai Indians.
The stage is now set for a battle of intrigue as RCB and Rajasthan Royals gear up for a crucial contest.
This season, RCB has thrived on its regular staple of top-order runs and a welcome enhancement in its bowling arsenal though men like R.P. Singh, for instance in the away-game against Chennai Super Kings, have not exactly flowered. But in Ravi Rampaul, the host has found a key bowler.
Captain Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and A.B. de Villiers have together clocked 669 runs while the rest have hardly come into the picture. Tillakaratne Dilshan has returned from Sri Lanka and he provides an extra option for Kohli.
RCB’s rival from Jaipur has lived up to the ‘sum is bigger than the parts’ dictum that came in handy when it won the inaugural IPL in 2008. Skipper Rahul Dravid, though not a show-man like his predecessor Shane Warne, has infused belief into the squad. Dravid himself has done well and has been the lead performer from among the IPL’s senior statesmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis.
Dravid has found diverse men like Kevon Cooper and Ajit Chandila chipping in with their golden arms and it remains to be seen if S. Sreesanth, ‘rested’ from the last game, is also part of his plans. Meanwhile, Shane Watson is yet to impose himself in a batting line-up that has largely rested on the efforts of Ajinkya Rahane, Dravid and Brad Hodge. Dravid too would be keen to strike it big in a ground that is virtually his second home.
The commemorative wall in his honour near the main gate, displays the runs he has amassed at the international level. Yet, it is a fact that Dravid has not exactly flourished on a familiar turf. Kohli though would hope that his counterpart does not rectify that minor blip.