Rajasthan Royals aim to live another day
Match factsFriday, May 18, Hyderabad
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Rajasthan Royals are favourites to win against Deccan Chargers. Should they win, they will need to beat Mumbai Indians in Jaipur to get to 18 points and remain in contention of a playoff spot. However, one bad day and Royals' campaign will be over. Royals' team composition is not very different from Chargers, but they have worked well within their limitations to keep their chances alive. On the other hand, Chargers' weak bowling and poor fielding has kept them languishing at the bottom of the table.
Royals have been the perennial underdogs. They started the season by surprising other teams with strong batting performances. Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Owais Shah, Brad Hodge - all contributed in Royals' early wins. The team bears a different complexion now because of two impact players - Shane Watson and Shaun Tait. Watson scored an unbeaten 90 in a total of 126 after Tait dented Pune Warriors with his three wickets. Royals need another big performance from the two and watch out for the in-form trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Cameron White and Dale Steyn.
Form guide(most recent first, completed games)
Deccan Chargers : LLLLL
Rajasthan Royals: WLWWL
Players to watch
Shaun Tait spent ten games sitting on the bench. When he finally got a chance, he had batsmen hopping around with his pace and accuracy. He has picked up six wickets in four games at an economy of 5.01 to quell doubts about his waywardness.
After making a circumspect start, Cameron White found his range to score 477 runs at a strike-rate of 153.37. He has hit five half-centuries and his 20 sixes are only behind Chris Gayle's 44. Unfortunately, apart from him and Dhawan, there haven't been any major contributions from the rest.
Stats and trivia
- Deccan Chargers have taken 34 catches in the field, which is the lowest for any team this season. Rajasthan Royals' 45 catches are only second to Mumbai Indians' 48.
- Deccan Chargers have picked up 62 wickets in 14 games - the lowest this year. Royals are second on the list with 83 wickets.
Quotes"We're all artists and we all have our critics. Luck, chance and destiny is all in your hands. No one else's,"
Kumar Sangakkara, Deccan Chargers captain, during a motivational lecture.
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.