Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2012, Jaipur April 22, 2012

Can Rajasthan overcome Gayle and de Villiers?

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Match facts

Monday, April 23, Jaipur
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

A week ago, Rajasthan Royals played Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chinnaswamy Stadium as underdogs, but Ajinkya Rahane's century and Siddharth Trivedi's four wickets gave them an easy 59-run victory. Most things have remained unchanged since then. Royals' batting has consistently fired to give them a chance in every game while Royal Challengers' bowling has struggled to stem the flow of runs. Virat Kohli's indifferent form in this IPL has fetched him just 113 runs, putting extra pressure on Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers.

One thing has changed in the last week though - Gayle storms have become frequent. His last two innings have been 81 and 87 and have included 12 sixes. Royals would be wary of Gayle but if they can get past him, their task becomes considerably easier.

Jaipur has been a fortress for the Royals and Rahul Dravid would hope for a strong batting performance again. Brad Hodge, second on the leading Twenty20 run-scorer list, hasn't had many chances as the top order has been consistent. But he can be a dangerous batsman in this format and there is a case for him to come ahead of Ashok Menaria.

Form guide

Rajasthan Royals LWWLL
Royal Challengers Bangalore WWLLL

Players to watch

Kevon Cooper is Royals' leading wicket taker this season with ten wickets. With the kind of luck that he has enjoyed, Dravid might want to pit him against Gayle early.

AB de Villiers has scored a few boundaries and sixes in the reverse 'V'. By his own admission, he has struggled to hit the ball in front of the wicket and therefore, has cleverly used the pace of the bowlers. Royal Challengers' would hope him he fires again as he is one of the two in-form batsmen.

Stats and trivia

  • Royals have scored their runs at 8.56 per over, the best this season. Royal Challengers are next with 8.15
  • For batsmen who have scored more than 100 runs in the tournament, Hodge has the second best strike rate of 157.31, only 0.38 behind Gayle

    Quotes

    "Probably, we have been playing well till three-quarters of the past few editions to keep ourselves in the hunt but have slipped in the last quarter."
    Amit Singh, Royals' medium pacer, says the team needs to maintain consistency

    Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    If RR wants to win the match they have too overcome Gayle and Ab ........so cooper and trivedi has to play important role in this match........

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | April 23, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Good to know that Menaria has been dropped. He simply fails to accelerate with his ungainly batting.

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Its a big match coming up now,looking forward to gayle's towering sixes.Alll the best RCB.

  • POSTED BY raj_bcool on | April 23, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    When Gayle is on song , no team can take the game away from him. Come Royals , get Gayle win the game

  • POSTED BY PhaniBhaskar24 on | April 23, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    I don't think, Gayle & AB can continue their good form against RR. If we look at Gayle, AB batting, both the batsmen have really smashed the fast bowlers ( Except for Rahul Sharma by Gayle). They can hit boundries at will if we try 150KMPH. But RR has bowlers who has presence of Mind. They mix fast & slower ones well. I am sure, in this match, the threat will be Kohli for RR, not gayle, AB. Expecting RR to win

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    I hope RCB win - but we do rely heavily on Chris Gayle so he must do the sixes tonight, we also have AB in good form. Do hope Virat gets it right tonight :) RR are a strong team, so this will be a good match- looking forward to it.

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Suggestion to RR: Just get Gayle and AB out cheaply ! The rest of the batting line-up which is in pathetic form will itself breakdown. Hoping for the cracker of a match though. Just LOVING IPL. :)

  • POSTED BY money8080 on | April 23, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    everybody is saying gayle , gayle only gayle ....... wat abt AB he is in supreme form 4 me if u want to pick one always AB closing the eyes if he fails today RR is going for top spot all the best RAJASTHAN ROYALS hala bole .......

  • POSTED BY omicron on | April 23, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    i think RCB should come out from the cocoon of Gayle phobia! n dat is possible only if Virat can produce some magical innings! bcz dey r seriously lacking in bowling strength! So dey cant be a winner unless da batting department sparks! n talking about Royals I think dey r 1 of da mst strongest contender of this year's IPL! I think da only reason is "The Wall". He had kept his nerve cool n sealed couple of tight match win for RR! Even in da last match RR nearly caught CSK! So i think all in all it will be a match worth of watching!! Let's get ready to enjoy "Clash of the Royals" :p

  • POSTED BY DaDaL0G on | April 23, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Gayle, Gayle and Only Gayle if Gayle scores RCB wins

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    If RR wants to win the match they have too overcome Gayle and Ab ........so cooper and trivedi has to play important role in this match........

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | April 23, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Good to know that Menaria has been dropped. He simply fails to accelerate with his ungainly batting.

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Its a big match coming up now,looking forward to gayle's towering sixes.Alll the best RCB.

  • POSTED BY raj_bcool on | April 23, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    When Gayle is on song , no team can take the game away from him. Come Royals , get Gayle win the game

  • POSTED BY PhaniBhaskar24 on | April 23, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    I don't think, Gayle & AB can continue their good form against RR. If we look at Gayle, AB batting, both the batsmen have really smashed the fast bowlers ( Except for Rahul Sharma by Gayle). They can hit boundries at will if we try 150KMPH. But RR has bowlers who has presence of Mind. They mix fast & slower ones well. I am sure, in this match, the threat will be Kohli for RR, not gayle, AB. Expecting RR to win

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    I hope RCB win - but we do rely heavily on Chris Gayle so he must do the sixes tonight, we also have AB in good form. Do hope Virat gets it right tonight :) RR are a strong team, so this will be a good match- looking forward to it.

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Suggestion to RR: Just get Gayle and AB out cheaply ! The rest of the batting line-up which is in pathetic form will itself breakdown. Hoping for the cracker of a match though. Just LOVING IPL. :)

  • POSTED BY money8080 on | April 23, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    everybody is saying gayle , gayle only gayle ....... wat abt AB he is in supreme form 4 me if u want to pick one always AB closing the eyes if he fails today RR is going for top spot all the best RAJASTHAN ROYALS hala bole .......

  • POSTED BY omicron on | April 23, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    i think RCB should come out from the cocoon of Gayle phobia! n dat is possible only if Virat can produce some magical innings! bcz dey r seriously lacking in bowling strength! So dey cant be a winner unless da batting department sparks! n talking about Royals I think dey r 1 of da mst strongest contender of this year's IPL! I think da only reason is "The Wall". He had kept his nerve cool n sealed couple of tight match win for RR! Even in da last match RR nearly caught CSK! So i think all in all it will be a match worth of watching!! Let's get ready to enjoy "Clash of the Royals" :p

  • POSTED BY DaDaL0G on | April 23, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Gayle, Gayle and Only Gayle if Gayle scores RCB wins

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    If RCB needs to win just not the match but the tournament they need to take quality risk. Vettori out Murali In (based on their forms). Andrew McDonald needs to play more matches for his allround ability. Vinay Kumar Out Replace with a good bowler who can bowl yorkers. Tiwary Opens with Gayle or comes in early not a good no5 or no6 batsman. Local talent needs to fire. or its going to be a team of 4 (International players ) from RCB vs team of 11 always....

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Chris is a great player

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    If Gayle bats well RCB wins.. As simple as that.. But Virat must find his form quickly, b'coz cant pressurize Gayle all the way. In the bowling side, we need Syed Mohammed. A very good spinner.

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    Very difficult match. supporting RR for win, at the same time dont want to miss Gaylestorm.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | April 23, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    I'm sure Hodge will come ahead of Menaria. RR should bat first and post close to 200. It doesn't matter how strong your batting is, pressure will take its toll on RCB. If RCB bat first, they will definitely post close to 200 with no pressure of the score board and facilitated by the weak bowling of RR. RCB has a small but sure advantage. But I hope RR wins today.

  • POSTED BY Sadiqahmed on | April 23, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    RCB have a huge handicap. Their bowling strength arguably is the weakest of all 9 times. The only reason they are still ahead of Deccan Chargers is because of Chris Gayle and AB Dvilliers. Given this handicap they need to ensure that they score big and then make sure the last two overs are reserved for the best bowlers. This might mean a combination of Zaheer and Vettori or MacDonald if playing. The choice between playing Dilshan and MacDonald is a tough one. But with a bowling handicap it favors the selection of MacDonald. It is amazing that RCB management made such poor choices of local talents. Other than Virat and Zaheer the rest appears lack luster, at least as far as bowling options are concerned. Next year they must select a more balanced team including at leat 2 top class all-rouders. Sadiq Ahmed

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    AB de Villiers has played a lot of unorthodox shots this season

  • POSTED BY musaafir on | April 23, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Gayle and De villers are in form.But The Great Wall is gonna Overtake them with a OVERWHELMING Innings..Wait and Watch.

  • POSTED BY Nisarg_DEs on | April 23, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Gayle is in superb Form,. as well as RR,.. I want RD to score a century and RCB to win......................... Love RD and RCB......... so cheering for both...

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Chase to win against RCB.. the form gayle is in, RCB can chase any score.. So RR should depend on their batting and make the best out of it.. RCB is weak in bowling, if murali plays then its a different story..

  • POSTED BY BDHUNTER on | April 23, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Tait can be introduced instead Cooper for Today's match...........

  • POSTED BY Prajith4j on | April 23, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Gayle has found his form back in the last 2 games, but the negative point is that RCB are too much dependent on him with their middle order struggling (apart from AB). A treat from Virat is due now, hope he does it 2day. For RR, Shah and Rahane are in great form. Hodge should play up the order, comin in at the fag end of the innings, he's hardly played in the past few games. Would love to c THE WALL play throughout the innings and score 70 or 80+. With RR 2nyt, juz coz i lyk THE WALL. Hold your breath guys, Cooper vs Gayle- Its gonna b intrsting!

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    LETS SEE TODAY MATCH HOW MUCH BIG HITTER IS THERE......

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    I believe that today Dravid should unleash Tait and play him in place of cooper, I know it's a big gamble but he is a kind of bowler who could remove Gayle quickly because otherwise Gayle could easily molest likes of binny,amit singh and trivedi

  • POSTED BY Sup11chaudhary on | April 23, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Brad Hodge should be promoted up the order , he'a talented guy , he can turn the match by his own ! Dilshan should play , and I wish Kohli do perform today :D

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    RCB are finding their form but they are too much dependent on Gayle force. Virat needs to step up and score some runs. AB should bat at no. 4 at any cost. Every team should go with the policy of their best batsmen to bat the maximum no. of overs as in T20 there are not many balls. Dravid is playing well but have thrown his wickets in the last 3 matches. In my opinion Brad Hodge should come to open with Rahane as both Dravid and Rahane play wid same pace. Owais Shah and Ajinkya Rahane are in form of their life so they should be making the most of it. RR should open wid Brad Hogg against C. Gayle as he is a shaky starter against spin. It will be an interesting match if Rajasthan post a good score in the First innings.

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    That's nice with Prajay... if RD scores a century, RCB will definitely win...

  • POSTED BY aries_d on | April 23, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    If Gayle gets out cheap, RCP will struggle. It depends too much on Gayle which is not good.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | April 23, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    RR did a great job and their decision to send in Menaria is good one but from team perspective, he should get himself out by 14th over so that the big hitters in Hodge and Cooper can tee it off in last overs.. That should be his role.. Allow Rahane/Dravid to score freely and hold one end.. And, make sure you leave good space for the lower order hitters.. Up against a batting lineup like RCB's, you need to get 20-30 more than the par score to have a chance.. The way Gayle sets up and ABD finishes, they can chase anything i think.. Plus, Virat is yet to fire!! Better chase against RCB.. Their batting line up won't know what to put and it will make a difference to how they approach the innings..

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Gayle is in superb Form,. as well as RR,.. I want RD to score a century and RCB to win......................... Love RD and RCB......... so cheering for both...

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  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Gayle is in superb Form,. as well as RR,.. I want RD to score a century and RCB to win......................... Love RD and RCB......... so cheering for both...

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | April 23, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    RR did a great job and their decision to send in Menaria is good one but from team perspective, he should get himself out by 14th over so that the big hitters in Hodge and Cooper can tee it off in last overs.. That should be his role.. Allow Rahane/Dravid to score freely and hold one end.. And, make sure you leave good space for the lower order hitters.. Up against a batting lineup like RCB's, you need to get 20-30 more than the par score to have a chance.. The way Gayle sets up and ABD finishes, they can chase anything i think.. Plus, Virat is yet to fire!! Better chase against RCB.. Their batting line up won't know what to put and it will make a difference to how they approach the innings..

  • POSTED BY aries_d on | April 23, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    If Gayle gets out cheap, RCP will struggle. It depends too much on Gayle which is not good.

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    That's nice with Prajay... if RD scores a century, RCB will definitely win...

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    RCB are finding their form but they are too much dependent on Gayle force. Virat needs to step up and score some runs. AB should bat at no. 4 at any cost. Every team should go with the policy of their best batsmen to bat the maximum no. of overs as in T20 there are not many balls. Dravid is playing well but have thrown his wickets in the last 3 matches. In my opinion Brad Hodge should come to open with Rahane as both Dravid and Rahane play wid same pace. Owais Shah and Ajinkya Rahane are in form of their life so they should be making the most of it. RR should open wid Brad Hogg against C. Gayle as he is a shaky starter against spin. It will be an interesting match if Rajasthan post a good score in the First innings.

  • POSTED BY Sup11chaudhary on | April 23, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Brad Hodge should be promoted up the order , he'a talented guy , he can turn the match by his own ! Dilshan should play , and I wish Kohli do perform today :D

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    I believe that today Dravid should unleash Tait and play him in place of cooper, I know it's a big gamble but he is a kind of bowler who could remove Gayle quickly because otherwise Gayle could easily molest likes of binny,amit singh and trivedi

  • POSTED BY on | April 23, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    LETS SEE TODAY MATCH HOW MUCH BIG HITTER IS THERE......

  • POSTED BY Prajith4j on | April 23, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Gayle has found his form back in the last 2 games, but the negative point is that RCB are too much dependent on him with their middle order struggling (apart from AB). A treat from Virat is due now, hope he does it 2day. For RR, Shah and Rahane are in great form. Hodge should play up the order, comin in at the fag end of the innings, he's hardly played in the past few games. Would love to c THE WALL play throughout the innings and score 70 or 80+. With RR 2nyt, juz coz i lyk THE WALL. Hold your breath guys, Cooper vs Gayle- Its gonna b intrsting!

  • POSTED BY BDHUNTER on | April 23, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Tait can be introduced instead Cooper for Today's match...........