Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2013, Jaipur May 6, 2013

Second straight slippery skin for Royals

Match facts

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

For the second game in a row, Rajasthan Royals run into a kamikaze side. Like Pune Warriors, Delhi Daredevils are going down too, but hold potential notoriety to take a team or two down with them. Given the nature of the format, it doesn't take much to cause an upset: all it needs is for one of Daredevils' big payers - now without the pressure of much to lose - to have a big day, and it could cost Royals a chance to progress further.

Even against Warriors, a side that has been struggling through the tournament, Royals - now tied on second spot with three other teams with five matches to go - took some time to recover from the Warriors onslaught that came from the freedom that comes with the knowledge you have nothing left to lose. If anything, Daredevils hold a bigger threat. To make the pressure worse for Royals, Daredevils have almost been free points for most of their rivals in the top half of the table.

With just six points from 11 games, Daredevils might not have been knocked out yet, but they are down for the count, and will do well to play assuming they are out. That freedom, along with quality, has been missing in their play this year.

Form guide

Rajasthan Royals WLWWL
Delhi Daredevils LWWLW

Watch out for...

Not only has Mahela Jayawardene been failing with the bat, his selection of XIs and strategy have raised eyebrows too. His preference for Jeevan Mendis and Ben Rohrer to Roelof van der Merwe has been as criticised by pundits as has been his use of David Warner in the middle order. In Twenty20 cricket, you need to have your only in-form batsman face as many balls as possible, especially if he is a batsman who struggles against spin.

Even Morne Morkel, an impact bowler, has played only six games out of 11.

Rahul Dravid, on the other hand, has had it good with both the bat and captaincy moves. He has batted responsibly, used his impact player Shane Watson smartly and variously, and his opposition can't plan beforehand for a certain set of opening batsmen or bowlers.

Stats and trivia

  • Apart from Chennai Super Kings, Royals are the only side that have three batsmen with more than 300 runs to their name in this IPL: Watson, Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane.
  • None of the four teams tied at second spot with 14 points - Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad - has lost a game at home.
  • Daredevils are the only team to have been bowled out twice for less than 100.

Quotes

"We are not thinking too far ahead. We just want to play one game at a time. We are playing against Delhi. We all know they are a strong side."
Rajasthan Royals' Ajinkya Rahane keeps it in the right areas

"I am really looking forward to playing in the Champions Trophy. At the moment I would love to finish the IPL on a high as well."
Daredevils' Irfan Pathan has better tidings waiting

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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