About the Match
It would be last chance for Kolkata Knight Riders to make sure they still have an outside chance in the tournament when they take on Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on 3rd May 2013. Rajasthan is sitting pretty on third place and that too with a game to go to become level with other teams. KKR has played ten and lost seven of them. They need to win at least nine games to qualify further and even if they do that, they need all the permutations and combinations to fall in the right place. RR would love to win this game as it will not only knock KKR out, but also allow them to climb up the ladder and make the final four closer.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Unlike previous season, everything seems to be falling apart for Knight Riders. More often than not, they’ve ended up on the receiving end of luck as they’ve lost too many close games. Also, poor form of their top order hasn’t done anything great to their performance. Yusuf Pathan’s inclusion in playing XI is still putting many people in doubts as he hasn’t even scored a fifty in last three years and he doesn’t bowl much to be kept in the side on account of his all-round abilities. Delhi Daredevils rattled their batsmen in the last game by bowling sharp and quick on spinner friendly Eden’s track. Eoin Morgan is the only batsman who has performed consistently. Gambhir was run-out in his previous game and is getting starts, but hasn’t been able to guide his team home. KKR is a team full of match winners, but at least one of whom has to perform for them to get over the line.
Without any power hitters like Chris Gayle or Virender Sehwag, Rajathan Royals have climbed the points table quickly without any fuss. They may not have many big names, but what they do have is an excellent blend of young and experienced players. With players like Rahul Dravid and Brad Hodge, they have the most experienced of their trade respectively. Along with that comes the experience and all-round abilities of Shane Watson. Their team management does well to find talent like Ajit Chandila, Sanju Samson, Siddharth Trivedi and Stuart Binny and all of them have played their part so far in this IPL. With Owais Shah coming in for Cooper and Watson bowling well, their batting has definitely gained in strength without having their batting suffer. If they keep playing the way they are, Rajasthan Royals can be a really tough contender to compete against.
Rajasthan bounced back from their successive losses in their last game and just got past RCB. Their batting seems to be in good form and their bowlers are doing their part perfectly. Can they do it yet again in front of large KKR support? It may not be easy, but it’s definitely possible. In fact, considering the form of both the sides, I suspect Rajasthan Royals to spoil this year’s IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders. With Faulkner and Watson in sublime form and ample support from local lads, Rajasthan Royals are firm favorites in this game.
Rajasthan Royals, 2.10 @ William Hill