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

  • dummy4fb 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........

  • 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.

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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. :)

  • 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 .......

  • 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

  • DaDaL0G on April 23, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Gayle, Gayle and Only Gayle if Gayle scores RCB wins

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