Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2012, Jaipur May 9, 2012

Crunch time for defending champions Chennai

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Match facts

Thursday, May 10, 2012, Jaipur
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Neither team is certain yet of a place in the playoffs, but the team under greater pressure is Chennai Super Kings. The two-time champions have 11 points, with six defeats and five wins. They could so easily have had 13 points, had it not been for the freakish last over against Mumbai Indians when Dwayne Smith hammered 14 from the last three balls. Perhaps most daunting for Super Kings is that their four remaining games include two against the current table leaders Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils. A defeat against the Royals could jeopardise their chances of qualifying.

Their batting looked over-dependent on Faf du Plessis but against Mumbai there were encouraging signs as the others chipped in. Du Plessis, though, has been down with a virus and remains doubtful for this game. But Super Kings have shown in previous editions that they are most dangerous when the pressure piles up. In 2010, their bowling was in shambles until Doug Bollinger arrived jet-lagged and transformed their fortunes, coincidentally, against Royals. Bollinger, who missed the last game, is reportedly fit and available for selection. However, du Plessis isn't so sure of being. He tweeted about being down with a virus, which he hopes will disappear soon.

Royals have also played 12 games and are just a point ahead of Super Kings. However, two of their remaining games are against the bottom-placed Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors, and three of them are at home in Jaipur, where they have a sound record. On paper, Royals have a better chance of qualifying. They are also bolstered by the arrival of Shane Watson, who plundered the Warriors with an unbeaten 90.

Form guide

(most recent first, completed games)

Rajasthan Royals: WWLLL
Chennai Super Kings: LWLLW

Players to watch

M Vijay had been in woeful form, scoring only 45 runs in 59 balls until the game against Mumbai Indians, when he smashed 41 off 29 balls. That innings included three sixes and showed signs of his form from the previous season. He has struggled this time and that has contributed to Super Kings' wobble this year. Vijay doesn't have too much time to turn things around but at least he's made a start.

As significant as Watson's 90 was the three-wicket haul by Shaun Tait against Warriors. The unpredictable Australian fast bowler silenced Sourav Ganguly and Michael Clarke with accuracy, pace and swing. The pitch was slow but Tait extracted life out of it.

Stats and trivia

  • Royals are clearly ahead on the batting front with nine fifty-plus scores to just four for Super Kings.
  • Super Kings have a 6-4 win-loss record against Royals.
  • Super Kings dropped just five games in total in 2011. This season, they have already lost six.

    Quotes

    "If you look at a team like the Delhi Daredevils, you will find guys like Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen finishing off matches for them. We need someone to finish the games off."
    Super Kings bowling coach Andy Bichel on what the team lacks, though not convinced by the likes of 'finishers' like MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo.

    "With a couple of teams in contention it looks like 18 points will be needed (to make the playoffs) but we must not worry about what is needed but just play good cricket."
    Rahul Dravid, Royals' captain.

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 10, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    its raining in jaipur .... i think match wil be abondanded.. csk cant qualify this year.. they had not played better this season .. they had over confident of fetching the title for a hat_trick ... but couldnt.......CSK is not in form this season ... hoping best for the next season.... Miss u CSK !!!!!!!

  • s.kumr on May 10, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Well , why dhoni has Jakati in the team ? Even Dhoni cannot reply for this .. he is in the team as a bowler .,but bowls only an over or 2 ., and he gives run at an average of 15 per over ,may be more than that also. CSK has to learn more from Kings XI team , who came from no where and pulled their socks up so brilliantly .

  • rsurya on May 10, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Who is best. James Franklin or Ravindra Jadeja????

  • dummy4fb on May 10, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    i dont think the match ll take place and chennai are out of ipl 5...

  • Vijay51982 on May 10, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Guys....... You know one thing? It is raining in Jaipurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..... Very very bad for CSK

  • srinideva on May 10, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    @K.a.l.i.n.g.a_D_w.a.r.r.i.o.R, hello buddy i saw your coments on CI about your (Z)hero ganguly capataincy and his skill blah blah... Now PWI are second in the bottom of the table. now you are trying to dominate dhoni and CSK. See this team acheived more than any team does in the previous edition. they will bounce back and rule this edition also. Still, Real CSK fans are having faith in this team. they born to be a CHAMPIONS CSK rocks as always

  • Solokings on May 10, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    yes i agree with K.a.l.i.n.g.a_D_w.a.r.r.i.o.R & Sivasankaran Saminathan CSK should not be so much depend on foreign players & nation side player they should try some local tallents like ganapathy vignesh & anirudha srikanth because they are handy batsman who can hit a long distance & also share the bowling when needed.

  • dummy4fb on May 10, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    everybody say that csk has no chance of winning but see that if csk got powerful opening the take min 160

  • dummy4fb on May 10, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    why is dhoni's injured knee being kept a secret ?? few matches back , his knee was extensivel taped and wrapped and it was GLARINGL shown on live tv for almost 2 minutes yet no body is talking about it ASIA CUP WAS LOST BECAUSE SACHIN CONSUMED 23 EXTRA BALLS HAD THESE 23 BALLS BEEN AVAILABLE TO DHONI, INDIA WOULD HAVE WON THE ASIA CUP N BALASUBRAMANIAN 10 5 12

  • K.a.l.i.n.g.a_D_w.a.r.r.i.o.R on May 10, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    My support goes to RR..... Would love to see 50+ scores from 2 R's Rahul & Rahane.....RR has the calmness and firepower to throttle CSK..... Captain cool's brain will be frozen by RR Players performance today..... CSK don't deserve to be in playoff's ....IPL has started to give chance to domestic players but players lyk Ganpathi ( Recall ICL he use to open with bat&bowl for chennai) Anirudh, who was the MOM agnst KKR who had a decent bowling force in last season Sudeep Tyagi who can bowl better thn Albie all warming becnh in csk squad didin't get even a single match ha ha ha ..... CSK u r out of luck ha ha ha ...Cmn RR win the match all d best. My RR11 by Batting order :-> 1.Rahane 2.Rahul 3.Watson 4. Owasis Shah 5.Menaria 6.Brad Hodge 7.Binny/Chaven 8.Yagnik 9.Pankaj Singh 10.Trivedi 11.Tait

    Use bowling of Hodge in the middle overs, he bowls decent off spin.

    .........................Go Royals Go.................

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