Time running out for Rajasthan
Match factsSaturday, May 5, Mohali
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Big PictureFor a side lacking the power and big names of other IPL teams like Kolkata Knight Riders or Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab have a creditable away record this season, having won four of six games. It is at home where they have struggled, with only one win out of four matches in Mohali. In contrast, Rajasthan Royals have struggled to win away from their home ground, Sawai Mansingh Stadium, with four losses from five games.
If you go by their form this season, neither team is a favourite for tomorrow's game in Mohali. Royals, though, are going in with a run of four consecutive losses. In three of those defeats, it was their much-praised batting which failed to score sufficient runs. They lost only 13 wickets in these three games, suggesting that the top order used up a lot of overs.
Kings XI, meanwhile, have had consecutive away wins, over fancied Royal Challengers and Chennai Super Kings. A loss tomorrow will hurt Royals more, and will leave them in need of having to win possibly every remaining game.
(completed games, most recent first)
Kings XI Punjab: WWLWL
Rajasthan Royals: LLLLW
Players to watchRahul Dravid has been in fine touch and has scored 333 runs, but his strike-rate of 116.02 has meant he has not been able to dictate terms. His average innings has lasted close to 30 deliveries, which increases the pressure on the middle order in big chases, or on flat pitches. Mohali hasn't exactly been a high-scoring venue this season, though.
Mandeep Singh's record for the season, 277 runs at 118.37, is similar to Dravid's. The young batsman, who plays for Punjab in the domestic circuit, has had a role to play in Kings XI's previous two wins. Like Dravid, Mandeep is more at ease when playing orthodox shots.
Stats and trivia
- The highest team total in Mohali this season is 171, which is lowest among all venues.
- Royals have the worst away win-loss ratio, 0.68, among the eight old IPL franchises.
Quotes"It was obviously a very positive week for us. We have won matches against some big teams at big stadiums... the challenge for us now is to rectify what we have done [wrong] here in Mohali."
"The first thing we have to do is to get a win, arrest the slide and get back some of the momentum."
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo