Mumbai v Rajasthan, IPL, 2nd qualifier, Kolkata

Troubled Royals aim to continue fairytale

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

May 23, 2013

Comments: 106 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Friday, May 24, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)


Rahul Dravid hit his second successive half-century, Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils, IPL, Jaipur, May 7, 2013
Rahul Dravid: Driving troubles away © BCCI
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Big picture

If Rajasthan Royals are able to produce two more good games, it will be a fairytale for them, according to their captain Rahul Dravid. In many ways, irrespective of what happens next, it is already a fairytale, one that has played out alongside a horrid nightmare during the past week. For a side like Royals to stand on par with and challenge the mightiest of IPL franchises, such as Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, is nothing short of a fairytale.

Sanju Samson, Dishant Yagnik, Stuart Binny, Vikramjeet Malik, Pravin Tambe, and Siddharth Trivedi up against million-dollar superstars. Unknowns against men such as Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard, who have defined Twenty20 cricket. A think-tank of Dravid, Paddy Upton, Monty Desai, and Zubin Bharucha, against a think-tank of John Wright, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Anil Kumble, Jonty Rhodes and Robin Singh. "We don't believe in having bowling and fielding coaches," Dravid said. Belief comes automatically when you can't afford to have the luxury of a bloated support staff.

Even in a format that reduces relative superiority due to its crunched length, the second qualifier looks like a no-contest. But this is a knockout bout. Players and sides do strange things under pressure, especially in T20. They do stranger things in a T20 knockout situation. Ask Mumbai Indians. It's a phenomenon that keeps getting stranger and stranger with every passing season: they are yet to win an IPL title in five previous attempts. Their embarrassment of riches somehow turns into a proper embarrassment come knockout time. The latest instance was the first qualifier against Super Kings two days ago.

Dravid was right when he said after winning the eliminator that the pressure was on Mumbai Indians. Royals have made the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. They had little to lose against Sunrisers Hyderabad, and they will have less to lose against Mumbai Indians, a side that will feel it has not done well if it does not win the title, according to Dravid. Not only was that a smart way of reminding the opposition of the cross of expectation they bear, it was also the bitter truth.

Still, if Mumbai Indians had been asked to pick an opponent in a knockout situation, they would probably have chosen Royals, and would probably hope they could play the match as if it was a regular league game.

Form guide

(Most recent first) Mumbai Indians LLWWW
Rajasthan Royals WLLWW

In the spotlight

Talent is supposed to meet opportunity in the IPL. The former word has become almost synonymous with Rohit Sharma, and the IPL is one place where he's delivered. With men such as Tendulkar and Ponting in the team, Rohit was handed the captaincy, and racked up win after win in the league stage. He also holed out at the first sign of pressure in the qualifier against Super Kings. Mumbai Indians will expect a much cooler head from their captain in the knockout.

There could have been a stage during the past week when Rahul Dravid would have wondered what had he done to face such adversity at the sunset of his career. "Like bereavement," he called it. When one ran into some Royals players at the Hyderabad airport last Sunday, you could see they weren't thinking about the eliminator in Delhi. All they wanted was to get away from the glare, back to base in Jaipur, and spend a few quiet days there. Dravid spoke of how the squad shared "a lot of emotions" during conversations. He would have been at the forefront of those talks. A reserved, private man going out of his comfort zone to ensure his players felt comfortable again. The poker face should be back on at Eden Gardens.

Stats and trivia

  • James Faulkner's 5 for 16 against Sunrisers in Hyderabad are the best figures this season. The next-best figures, 5 for 20, also belong to Faulkner, and also came against Sunrisers, in Jaipur.
  • Stuart Binny has bowled the most economical spell this season, 2-0-3-1, against Delhi Daredevils in Jaipur. Mitchell Johnson has the joint third most economical full spell, 4-0-8-2, against Pune Warriors in Pune.
  • This is the first time Lasith Malinga has conceded more than 400 runs in an IPL season
  • Rohit Sharma has had his most productive IPL season - 534 runs at a strike-rate of 134.84

Quotes

"It was a very tough phase for us. It was a blow to the team. It's something I have never experienced anything like. It's like bereavement in some ways."
Rahul Dravid on the arrests of three of his players in the spot-fixing controversy

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Satish_Madhekar on (May 24, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

Sachin must play today. Perhaps this is the last match for Mumbai Indians in 2013 IPL season and may be the last match for Sachin Tendulkar in IPL. We may not see him again in IPL.

Posted by ddr3 on (May 24, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

What is up with this fairy-tale theory?

Even MI has given it all..in fact MI has been way more consistent a team than RR. And they deserve to win this year way more than RR!

Too much Sympathy over Rahul i would say lol

Posted by jahangirmumbaifan on (May 24, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

When the final cover taken off then why the toss is not happing. I am very excited about this match.

Posted by Kashi0127 on (May 24, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Very fitting that it is raining in Calcutta. Hope it rains for next 3 days and rest of IPL gets washed out

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

we the crkt-lovers are waiting to watch a very beautiful match.both teams have grt players and match-winners like:pollard,malinga,johnson,dinesh(MI) and watson,faulkner,rahane,hodge(RR).but i think RR is littlte bit ahead bcoz of their nice combination.best of luck for both the teams.

Posted by PuranV on (May 24, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

MI will have pressure, because they have spent lots on fielding, bowling etc. and also on different mentors oppose to RR. RR qualified for playoffs and qualifier 2 is more than enough than winning this game. RR won against all the teams at least once that is important at this moment. Anyway I wish them good luck to Dravid and his team.

Posted by Viiki619 on (May 24, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

Perhaps RR is not an underdog team but it is definitely an underrated team.The only thing everyone see in RR's victories is Watson but he got only 3-4 MOMs but he can win single handedly but they fail to see the efforts of players like Trivedi,Cooper,Binny,etc that is the reason they are underrated.RR back bone lies in their think tank of Suporting staffs,coaches and Dravid definitely because they chose the right combination of fresh ones and foreign players.Moreover they showed that nothing can hurt a team if you are playing as a one.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

MI is underdogs royal is champ

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

Sadly, It's all down to 2 teams in qualifier 2 with 2 players I like most (Dravid & Sachin) playing against each other for the 2nd spot in finals... Hmm, Let the 2 legends play good innings infact great innings and RR win ;-)

Posted by Nitin2208 on (May 24, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

The pepole criticizing Sanju Samson is so annoying.. The guys is jst 18 give him a break & leave him alone & then watch !!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

RR is no underdog and Dravid is a very wise skipper... If the players perform well nd the batsmen don't fall in groups as they have in recent past... they have more than a fairy-tale chance of beating MI... My heart's with Dravid... ATB RR...

Posted by Nitin2208 on (May 24, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

I am from Mumbai. but still want rajasthan to win this & repeat the performance of 1st season in the final !!

Posted by Jammy2222 on (May 24, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

Mumbai !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

I believe rr are the favorites. ..halla bol

Posted by nammunavy on (May 24, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

mumbai indians wil rock 2day............. rohit sharma wil win this season ipl title.............

Posted by Priyavrat96 on (May 24, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

Rajasthan Royals should pick a foreign spinner like Hogg,Badree in place of Cooper if the Eden Gardens pitch suites for Spinners

Posted by LisaPereira on (May 24, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

Imagine that MI has two of the original Fab four of Indian Cricket but RR has the true Champion . RR will be IPL 6 Champions.. long live Dravid.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

Mumbai Indians will definitely win today...........and that too very comfortably........would like to see Watson and Pollard chemistry tonight in the game

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

I dont understand the term 'underdogs' here. We call a team with the likes of Dravid, Rahane, Watson, Hodge, Tait & Faulkner underdogs???

Posted by rookie007r on (May 24, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

I think RR should play Badri in place of Cooper (not saying Cooper hasn't performed. Only if the strip suites spinner), Menaria in place of Yagnik. Not sure why they haven't played Maneria. He was quite good last season. Not sure why Dravid trust Yagnik so much (May be he z better in the nets).

I would love to see RR winning today. Loved RD comments on MI putting the pressure straight away...

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

My vote is for the gentleman Rahul Dravid's team to win and win it will if Watson and Hodge fire.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

mumbai will tharsh RR and they will enter in finals:)

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

I tell ya what, with all my teams out the ipl, rr is the one I am supporting... I hope I don't jinks them!

Mi vs csk is going to be a waste of a final to one of the best ipl ever...

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

The media played an opposition role as far as Sanju Samson is concerned. He played good nocks just before he became the center focus of media and now, he is finding difficulty to even time the ball correctly.

Posted by tiger_tiger on (May 24, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Hope RR wins today and beat CSK :)

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

Hi, I am from Punjab but am a big fan of RR since very first edition of IPL in 2008. I firmly believe that today RR is going to thrash MI out of this competition. Don't forget the fact that RR has 3 quality Australian players in their squad and you know Australian players are mentally quite strong for big games, so chances are better for RR. HALLA BOL!!!!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

If RR loses, there is no financial loss to the owners but revers is true for MI

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

R.R all the best.Among seniors( +40 age) DRAVID proved better.I P L has to make a rule that every team has to include at least two players below age of +22 .Over all analysis shows that only Foreign players dominated in all depts .My wish R.R. to win in the interest of game

Posted by Otuwa on (May 24, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

@EverybodyLovesSachin-Please no more Sachin.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

@CsCooldude: Buddy! Have some decaf! You need it! :) I absolutely adore Rahul Dravid, though some of his antics (throwing around the ball in anger and conceding over throws) was a bit let down, I still love the man...I NEVER thought RR or ANY team in the IPL to be as underdogs. It's pretty moot to call any team an underdog in a format like this...If anything, I would have said teams like MI, DD, and RCB would be underdogs because these teams have proven to not handle pressure as well as the others...PWI was knocked out and thrashed this season, but I still don't think they are a bunch of "losers", my psyche, contrary to what you would like to believe, is not of a 10 year old...PWI had some pretty close games, failed to capitalize and then it was difficult to get up from a downhill....And btw, your point about RR having retired and out of form players; well MI too had Sachin, retired from ODIs, and Rohit, Karthik (not in form), and Harbhajan(not even considered for national side)...

Posted by rgfedex on (May 24, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

Watto vs Malinga. Watto is surely way ahead. Watto scored 80+ runs in 45 odd balls of malinga. And malinga gets him just once in IPL.

Posted by CScooldude on (May 24, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

@Jaydev: How I would've loved these words of yours at the start of the season when : Dravid was a 'retired' personnel; Tait was never in the thick of things even in CA; Watson coming off a poor performance on the Indian Tour; Rahane having a forgettable test debut; Hogg being fit enough to get a game but not turning a game single-handedly! And I do stress on the phrase 'before the season'... Had they perished, then guys like you would've called them a Bunch of Losers, would've ridiculed their decision to play IPL.. I don't blame you! It's a general tendency to bring those people down.. Who are doing good.. 'Fairy-Tale' might seem a bit too exaggerated but it's what happens when the team you expected least to reach this stage comes good!

No personal grudge against you; but if you can exercise your freedom of speech to ridicule a gentleman like Dravid.. Then there would be enough people in this world... Who might not agree with your comments!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

To all those who failed to see my earlier point, I would like to reiterate that I am NOT saying RR has a stronger side, or equal side than MI. But RR can surely not make it sound like they are hardly without any resources...For people saying that Tait and Mitchell can't be compared, then you're considering current form, Mitchell Johnson just few months back, was not even considered a good fit for his national side...If you consider current form, RR on current form has got the best of players in Binny, Samson, Rahane, Watson etc. And for those who thought Brad Hogg and Harbhajan cannot be compared, well in ODIs and domestic T20s, Hogg has a better average and SR than Harbhajan...Hogg was ain integral part of the Aussie side few years back...as I said, people just get too influenced by the picture represented by media...I repeat myself again, MI definitely has more bucks, but RR also are not so much without resources. The only side which was really depelted this season was PWI...

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

Can be billed as David Vic's Goliath . Yes Avery powerful Mumbai will have to beware of underestimating the opposition . Odds 5:6 Mumbaiwin

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

@Jaydev..How can sachin(God) be compared with a gentleMAN Rahul...Sachin has always been considered as a player who can crush any team single-handedly whereas Dravid was not even considered as a player for t20...Tait is equivalent to Johnson..I think even their national side has stopped considering Tait...Rahane to Rohit...Rohit keeps on getting selected for national team and rahane has got only few games...Forget hodge and hogg...The only person who can be compared was Watson...if you consider others equal, you seriously want to question the national team selection committee of each country

Posted by Narabavi on (May 24, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

@Romenevans : No it'z a topedge :) I'm not talking only about that knock..

Posted by Romenevans on (May 24, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

@Narabavi - What? Watson smacked Malinga with his thrashing pull shots for 2 sixes in his only over he bowled to watson in last match they played. Inside edge? ROFL!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

MI gona beat RR...... Dravid is a perfect gentleman for this game of cricket, I respect him a lot and I knw no matter what happens in todays game he will hold his head high still. However Im a MI supporter so want them to reach final and beat CSK.... Whistle podu To whistle Todu..... MI - Duniya hila denge hum....

Posted by magicumesh on (May 24, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

Its all come to one man. SHANE WATSON. If Watson Shines, RR will win easily. If not, MI all the way. Pollard provoked Watson in the last match. Hope Watson will answer with his bat and ball today.

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (May 24, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

I feel Mumbai will find it very tough if the pitch is on the slower side. The likes of Smith, Pollard and even Karthik will like the ball coming on but will struggle when that doesn't happen. This probably is a good chance for Sachin to score some serious IPL runs since only he has the technique to adjust (and probably will like the ball coming slowly rather than fast because of his reflexes). So all in all, I feel it is Sachin vs RR in batting. If Sachin fails, its curtains for MI.

As far as bowling is concerned, MI fast bowlers will still be fast on a slow track and so it makes it so much more difficult for MI to contain RR batsmen. It would boil down to Bajji and Ojha to do the containing job. May be, they can add atleast one more slow bowler in the playing XI.

But as I see it, RR has a better chance to win.

Posted by Narabavi on (May 24, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

@Apocalypse_EX : Though Watson scored quick runs against Malinga, that'z not mean he is comfortable against him.More than half of his runs against Malinga came through topedges, insidedges & outsidedges.

Posted by nagendra1221 on (May 24, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

waiting to see "Pollard VS Watson" and "Dravid VS Johnson"... All the best for both teams

Posted by ramli on (May 24, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

Cricket is a team game ... league cricket even more so ... it requires team work to succeed in IPL ... that is exactly what RR is doing ... so all you need is 11 competitive cricketers willing to gel together and do anything for team cause ... why do you need superstars for this?

Posted by TeamRocker on (May 24, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Dravid's ultimate genius stroke: Accepting the underdog status, calling themselves a moneyball team and saying that their wins are simply upsets. All this is putting tremendous pressure on MI (and CSK), while the RR players feel much less tense. Brilliant stuff.

In truth, RR has a side with more potential than anyone gives them credit for. And Dravid is doing a great job of tapping that potential.

Posted by SpeedCricketThrills on (May 24, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

@Mohammad Ahsan Jaffar - Dravid was perfect in describing the situation that way!

He basically meant that RR is a team where within the limited budget, they have to 'mix and match' the best available players, taking into account each and the many variables such as strengths and weaknesses of each player, evaluating againt the strengths and weaknesses of each player in MI's team.

Other teams do not have to do such intense arithmetic - the team generally selects by itself.

For example, in the most recent match, even as I was wondering who this Vikramjeet Malik is, I was made to see what a wonderful result he produced!

Posted by veerakannadiga on (May 24, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

all the best RD. you 've come this far. 2 more steps............God Bless.from a loyal Dravid fan

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

MI is our Team South Africa of IPL...!!! :D

Even if PWI would hav been in front of MI, MI had 10% chances of winning that one.....!!!

RR vs CSK mega final on 26th..!!!

Posted by TheDarkKnight1988 on (May 24, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

From no angle RR are under dogs, they have equally good team, infact rr players have won more matches on their own, i think ROYALS are favourites today, but i would like to see CSK VS MI in finals

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

MI look like they are trying too hard to succeed, depend on the brilliance of a few individuals to bail them out like Polly and Rohit/Karthik. To win one needs to function like a well oiled unit which more often than not crumbles under the first sign of pressure when defending totals. CSK in the playoffs exposed their captains weakness in tense situations, lack of partnerships at the top of the order make them vulnerable to a steady drain of wickets. Someone needs to play the role Hussey has done so remarkably well for CSK and thats what defines champions. MI on the other hand have an abundance of talent but have failed to get the right team composition. To me RR looks much better placed to win the game tonight simply because they have a more intelligent captain at the helm of affairs. Rohit looks clearly at sea when it comes to crunch moments.

Posted by sureshpal007 on (May 24, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

It is Rememberable win of RR against of SRH, Here are need some changes of Batting Order RR should open with Watson because Watson can perfect use of powerplay who is big broblem of RR for last 4 games, Rahul should play at no 3 because he can play according to situation, Why does not play top order of Hodge, Hodge is match winner player, RR should to play at no 4 of Hodge, RR can use Kepoer kooper as a pitch hitter at no 6, RR must include of Harmeet Singh/ Tabme instead of Vikramjeet/Trivedi, It will good batting order of RR... Watson, Rahane, Dravid, Hodge, Samson, Kooper, Binny, Yagnik, Faulkner,Tabme/Harmeet, Vikramjeet/Trivedi

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

R Dravid calls his team a money ball team if you go with that mentality or such mindset you've lost the game already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

MY TEAM FOR MI and order would be Rayadu / Tare / Smith / Rohit sharma / Pollard / Kartik / Harbajan / Dhawan or Sk Yadav / M Johnson / Malinga / Ojha

Posted by rashmil09 on (May 24, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

RR is actually a small team if compared with MI. MI has support staff comprising of Kumble (Mentor) Wright (Head Coach), Robin (ass. coach) and Jonty (Fielding Coach) copared to RR's Paddy (Head Coach) and Monty Desai (Coach), making it 4:2. Also talking about the players, everyone but for Rayudu are capped players in the playing XI. Whereas in RR, we have Binny, Samson, Yagnik/Baby, Trivedi, Tambe/Malik as uncapped. that makes it 1:5 uncapped. Even the foreign recruits - Faulkner (Debut for Aus this year) and Cooper (yet to play for WI) are new. MI have a rich experienced playing XI. @JaydevAdhikari, you've compared with a very narrow sense of perspective.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

totally agree with the comments that RR is probably as stong as MI , if not stronger . In fact given 1)the tapering of form or DK , RS , and AR , 2)the inconsistency of KP and DS , 3)? about ATare 4) bowlers have another off day 5) no batting beyond 6 -From this RR is much stronger with consistent batting and bowling performances from their overseas and indian players

Match situation is in favor of RR

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

@jayadev adhikari.. clearly u fail to apply the watson logic to other players.. mitchell and tait..?? mitchell is 100 times more fancied.. harbhajan to hogg.. seriously..?? what about other players.. dwayne smith... lasith malinga.. munaf patel.. what dravid says dus make sense.. and if u feel dat the team is as good as MI.. then MI has done a pathetic job in selections.. RR spent $67 million.. and MI have $112 million.. in all measures u see that RR has scripted a fairytale season and hope RR goes on to win the tournament..

Posted by alokprakash.sharma on (May 24, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

This article seems to talk about only Rajsthan Royals. It should have been preview of the match. But look like author wants to talk about RR fairy tale. Mumbai is also a very good team. They are making to play off every year from 2010. That is mark of consistency. Mumbai does not get extra money to spend in auctions. They managed this team with the same amount. Mumbai is trying to keep the team consistent. I agree that they have not made some good decision in crucial matches. But that is part and parcel of the game.

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (May 24, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

RR are not underdogs at all. They have plenty of match winners. It is 50-50 today. It will be 50-50 on finals day. In pressure situations you need cool head to make sensible decisions. That might be the difference in the end. Rohit < Dravid < Dhoni.

Posted by SpeedCricketThrills on (May 24, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

Here are my predictions:

1) If MI win the toss and Bat 1st, they will win. If they win the toss and Bat 2nd, they will lose.

2) If MI lose the toss and Bat 2nd, they will win. If the lose the toss and Bat 1st, they will lose.

3) If RR win the toss and Bat 1st, they will lose. If they win the toss and Bat 2nd, they will win

4) If RR lose the toss and Bat 2nd, they will win. If they lose the toss and Bat 1st, they will lose.

5) Team chasing stands a better chance of winning than the team defending

6) RR is better in chasing, MI is better in defending.

All things considered, MI has a slight 'advantage' over RR. But bring astrology into picture and will end up being a good day for RR - their captain Dravid's stars are better positioned for success today than MI captain Rohit's. The only way MI can nullify the adverse influence of planetary positions is by playing Ponting. Then it will be 50-50 and we have to wait till last ball

:-) :-)

Posted by latecut_04 on (May 24, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

'Still, if Mumbai Indians had been asked to pick an opponent in a knockout situation, they would probably have chosen Royals'---Cant disagree more with you Abhishek regarding that.

Posted by latecut_04 on (May 24, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

I had stated this earlier in cricinfo after India were thrashed in england--We should not have let Paddy Upton go.especially since more youngsters were supposed to be inducted in the Indian squad when Garry left.RR's royal journey only confirms my belief.And he has been recommened by RD and Warne who are genuises themselves.Will the BCCI have some sanity and ask for his services IMMEDIATELY for the Indian national team.he can do wonders for Indian boys when they tour SA.Sanju Samson effectively grafting Steyn arresting the wickefall would not have been possible without this man in the background.That is how important he is to turn talents into finsihed products.And all this talk about RR being underdogs is just nonsense.Glad to see many who share the view.Saw a post stating Faulkner is no way near Jhonson.do you know Faulkner has been included in Ashes squad while Jhonson has been permanently discarded for away tours.Faulkenr has something called TEMPARAMENT which win tournaments.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (May 24, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

Drop Rayudu ASAP.....and Sachin will be back...and win for Mumbai Indians..

Posted by SidsIPLTeam on (May 24, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

True that the RR have good players in their line-up. But, a closer look would give a real indication of the difference between the two sides. Watson & Hodge are neutralised by Pollard and Smith. But, Malinga & Johnson are one of the best internationals & way way ahead of Cooper or Faulkner on any given day. Binny is good & Samson has shown promise but Yagnik is wild, doesn't know what he's doing. More importantly all of them lack the big stage experience. In MI, only Sachin is relatively slow & he's currently replaced by Tare who is aggressive. And in Karthik, R.Sharma & Rayudu, they form one of the best middle orders in the IPL. Also, if we look at the Indian bowlers the difference is very evident. Trivedi, Malik & Tambe are easily outweighed by Harbhajan, Ojha & Munaf. As cliched as it sounds, Dravid & the world are just pointing to the truth when they say this contest is a mismatch. Lets root for the underdogs & see if they can bring down the "Might" of Mumbai. Nothing beyond!!

Posted by Kashi0127 on (May 24, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

@Adonis That's not necessarily a valid argument. MOM has no meaning these days. Its always the winning team member who gets it now a days. So # of MOM for a Team is proportional to # of Matches team has won

Posted by Romenevans on (May 24, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

@Jay Ajit - Owais Shah? We are talking about T20 or Test matches? Not to mention his pathetic fielding. No way, the last match team they played is perfect despite the fact they don't have a spinner left in squad, RR should play the same bowling attack which will suit Kolkata's pitch. Remember those fats bowler's of RR are "Fast bowlers" who bowls well on both fast and slow pitches and they proved it in last match against SRH.

Posted by himanshu.team on (May 24, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

Mumbai are a side with lot of 'Stars', but that great a team in itself. Too many cooks in there. Rajasthan on the other hand are no push-overs by any strech of imagination. There can be no one more resolved, hard working or disciplined than Dravid in world cricket. Mumbai on the other hand lack this discipline in their play big time. Dravid also showed that he is a master mind-gmae player. Very quickly and effectively, he put MI on the block saying that if they do not win the title, it will be a disappointment for them. RR have match winners, but more importantly they have players who can play the support role for match winners to perfection. Even Watson, plays carefully when needed. Dravid and Rahane hit when needed. Binny and Samson can hit or rotate strike depending on the situation. This is one quality missing in MI and that may hurt them big time. By the way: How many people out here feel Paddy Upton, will make a good coach for team India?

Posted by Khushboov on (May 24, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

@Jaydev Adhikari: It's not about man to man comparison to what media or Dravid is referring to. They are referring to mullah RR spent to get this team on ground compared to other high profile teams. RR owners paid $67 mn (least in the league) compared to MI owners shelling out $112 mn (highest in IPL)

Obviously, man to man comparison is not much different, that's why Dravid referred to themselves as 'moneyball' team! though ironically moneyball team never won the tournament! <how i hope its proved wrong here>

Posted by himal_joshi on (May 24, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

what about rr to make it. . its my fav forever. . . i mean look at this team. . legendary captain, no specialist cotch, no bating cotch, no bowling or field cotch, no assistant coath,no mentor or co-mentor,no performance analyzer. . they have minimum player in their squad as compare to other and 3 player is more short now. . the most expensive player rahul dravid 2.3 carore(in csk,kkr,mi, pwi its over 10 carore) and only watson played over 15 t-20 matches in their squad. . . after all this they are in play offs . . its really royal team.. . happy to see dravid lift the trofy this year

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 0:43 GMT)

Maybe Tendulkar was okay compared to Ponting. But then remember the latter looked good in BBL. Also, the former was pathetic in Champions league. So, comparing them based on IPL alone is unfair. The fact is neither look indispensable.

Posted by Webmaster750 on (May 23, 2013, 23:47 GMT)

if we check head to head stats... total 11 matches played.. and currently its in favor of MI by 1 match. 6-5 ... which actually doesn't prove that MI got upper hand. Comparison of latest teams/recent contests, they both won each at home ground. comparison between players, if SRT is highest run scorer in ODIs... RR got highest scorer of this format. MI got Malinga, RR has second highest wicket taker of current tournament, players from both side share 5th to 8th rank between them equally in list of highest scorer for current tournament.. And 11th place belongs to RR's Dravid... IPL is a different ball game.. RR's were underdogs when they started, but as of today.. all 3 teams stands on same ground, except that MI has lost twice to CSK in this season..

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 23:36 GMT)

RR should include Shah to improve the batting and have Singh/Malik and leave out Cooper and Yagnik. MI is going to win the toss and bat first on flat pitch and score atleast 170. In this situation, two of Watson,Hodge,Dravid,Rahane may make 50s. So we may need couple of 20s and 30s from remaining batsmen. Dravid and Rahane may be ideal to take-on Harbhajan and Ojha.

Posted by Kings-N-Royals on (May 23, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

@Er Swapnil Parihar, really ? egoistic Mural Vijay & Bravo ? did you meet them for dinner ? How can u judge an individual without even meeting them ? That shows your ego for your favorite team. CSK on field behavior is been the best when compared to any other team! A player as an individual or a team has to carry themselves with a right balance of humbleness and pride...and also the due respect for opposition teams, individuals and the umpires... that is what great sportsmen and great teams are loved for irrelevant of where they came from or what language they speak... examples of such individuals are.. Sachin, Dravid,MSD, Hussey.. and the list will go on! for those individuals who got the talent but have a ton of attitude.. they will never be liked as an individual... they may be liked by ppl just because they play and win for their team! example ... Virat Kohli & we saw that in Wankhede, dint we ? & Yeah, I am CSK fan from B'lore and I dont mind if CSK or RR won, both r great teams!

Posted by VancouverPunekar on (May 23, 2013, 22:31 GMT)

@vroom84 MI's bowling is way better than almost any other team except SRH may be... I totally agree with Jaydev's overall assessment. The whole fairytale talk; RR being deprived of big names, their run being unexpected etc was always incomprehensible to me...i always thought they were serious contenders to be in the top 4

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 22:04 GMT)

@Jaydev Adhikari: Your man to man comparison between MI and RR lacks logic to say the least. Lets look at their playing XIs that last played. Six players, I repeat SIX players, of the RR team that beat Sunrisers have not played any cricket at the international level (test/ODI/T20) . 18 year old Samson, Binny, Cooper, Malik, Yagnik, Trivedi. 42 year old Tambe who played a few games for RR earlier this season has only played club cricket. 19 year old Harmeet Singh was given a game too.

Now, if you look at MI's playing XI, except for two players, Rayudu and Tare, everyone has plenty of experience at the international level. If Tendulkar was fit, even Tare would be out.

RR are clearly underdogs compared to MI. I hope their fairytale has a happy ending. GO Dravid ! GO RR !! :)

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 22:00 GMT)

Given that Eden is expected to be a slow wicket, RR should pick Menaria instead of Yagnik as his left arm spin will come handy. The rest of the team should remain unchanged from the last game.

Posted by anton_ego on (May 23, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

@Jaydev Adhikari. It is not true that they are a similar team on paper. But I agree they have unique advantages of their own. MI has more match-winners than RR - Pollard, Rohit, Karthik, Malinga, Bhajji, etc. But RR has only 3 genuine match-winners - Watson, Hodge and Faulkner. But RR has 3 genuine all-rounders in Watson, Binny and Faulkner while MI has just Pollard, and I don't believe Bhajji is an all-rounder. They have a long tail. But like Dravid said, MI will have more pressure because they have a habit of imploding in crucial games. One major disadvantage for RR will be the lack of quality spinners as compared to MI, because Kolkata is a spinners' paradise. The fate of RR remains on how long the 2 classical batsmen in RR - Dravid & Rahane - stay in the crease, because only they can handle the 2 spinners well, so they need to bat atleast 12 overs to lay a solid platform.

Posted by Adonis.. on (May 23, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

Guys... anyone noticed the number of players, who got the MOM's in RR team? Its whopping EIGHT players. This tells you how RR team is playing like an unit. One or another is rising to the occasion. So far the list includes 1. Dravid (1) 2. Rahane (3) 3. Watson (1) 4. Faulkner (2) 5. Trivedi (1) 6. Cooper (1) 7. Samson (1) 8. Hodge (1) And who can forget the performances of BINNY, even though he haven't received the MOM yet? Guys.. lets appreciate this RR as a team, rather than group of individuals? For the match against MI, my money is on Binny to get the MOM. Anybody agrees with me???

Posted by Mayan820 on (May 23, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

On paper MI's should easily win, BUT the playoffs are not played on paper; they are hard fought battles between flesh and blood professional T20 cricketers on cricket pitches.

Posted by shashanksingh19 on (May 23, 2013, 21:14 GMT)

RR team with batting order should be:

Dravid, Rahane, Samson, Watson, Hodge, Binny, Menaria, Faulkner, Trivedi, Malik and Badree.

Posted by ddr3 on (May 23, 2013, 21:05 GMT)

@Jaydev Adhikari, very well said Jaydev...i guess RR likes that tag of underdogs and just to enjoy that every season they come with this no-star theory! They have Brad Hogg who is one the leading run scorer in t20 format! still they say they got no-one...very unfair!

Posted by xylo on (May 23, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

If the eliminators have shown us anything, it is that the captains matter. And on that ground, with no Ricky Ponting, MI have very little chance. It would be a fitting finale if the teams with the best captains clash horns in the finals.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

Though this one is just a qualifier ,it more or less defines who will win the Trophy, The logic is simple ,whenever MI battles against CSK they seem to think of them as some sort of"God of the arena" and try crazy things or crumbled under pressure....The thing applies exactly reverse to RR ,they handle pressure in such a way that one might even say they enjoy underdog title..CSK wont realize what hit them if they meet RR is finals .. I vote for RR, and by the way who was the clever one that gave fairplay award to CSK ,really !!!egoistic Murali Vijay and Bravo still they get that award !! Crazy!!

Posted by vroom84 on (May 23, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

@Jaydev Adhikari : MI's bowling is way better than RR's. There's no way you can put Harbhajan and Hogg in the same class. Same with Johnson and Tait. Johnson's much much better. There is no one like Ojha, Malinga either in RR. In the batting department, yes you can have a 1 on 1 match.

Posted by vroom84 on (May 23, 2013, 20:11 GMT)

RR should play Owais Shah instead of Kevon Cooper, and either Tambe (if fit) or Harmeet instead of Yagnik. Shah is a good player of spin, and will strengthen the batting line up which has crumbled in the middle of the inns twice in a row now. And they need to play at least 1 spinner at Eden Gardens. Kevon has been very expensive in the last 2 games.

Batting Order should be:

Rahane, Watson, Dravid, Shah, Hodge, Samson, Binny, Faulkner, Trivedi, Tambe, Malik

Posted by shashanksingh19 on (May 23, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

RR should replace Cooper with Badree and Yagnik with Menaria. I wish I could convey this to Dravid bhai.

Posted by zeus_kris on (May 23, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

MI will lose. Tare will be found out. Last time Tare was an unknown, now RR and CSK knows how to bowl to him. DK and RS are both out of form at this moment. If MI has to score, it will be from hit-and-miss players such as Dwayne Smith and Pollard. If RR can take care of them, then they will win. Seeing that both of them got out to spinners, RR should play Tambe and Hodge as spinners.

Posted by RazorMach on (May 23, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

Supporting Royals for the reason that there's has been one excellent team effort with no big stars to bank on. If Royals win, it will be a wonderful tribute to youth (over past reputation), should Samson, Binny, and others fire like there is no tomorrow! Would be great to see the young players scoring at a strike rate higher than 180.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

respect is the new synonym for rahul dravid :)

Posted by Cricket24 on (May 23, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

I'm a Mumbai fan, but i kinda want the royals to win because of the things that have happened in recent days. They have a good attack with hodge, dravid, and watson as sniors and samson and binny providing exceptional support. Their bowling is great, once agin watson, faulkner, and cooper doing a good job in the death

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

MI are going to win the match comprehensively,bcoz they are like injured tigers who rise @ important times.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

MI playing XI: Sachin, Smith, DK, Rohit, Pollard, Tare, Jalaj Saxena, Bhaji, Johnson, Malinga, Ojha. MI dont need a third pacer at Eden gardens ans pls not Munaf. Jalaj is a useful off spinner and a handy batsman, will be effective on the Eden wicket. If Sachins fit MI should play Tare instead of Rayudu at no 6.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

"Its Time for you Royals to stand up and deliver and make the Gentleman Mr David proud" Go for the Glory !

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

RR already defeated MI this season by huge margin of 80+ runs and lost another tight game by just 14 runs that too because the umpire had a brain fade and gave dravid out outrageously. But for Dravid's dismissal, RR shud have won that game comfortably too. MI didn't deserve a place in top 2. It was rightfully RR's. but now that MI lost 1st qualifier, and RR has won eliminator, all that has been undone. It's time for RR to settle some scores. MI is overrated. If RR can tackle ojha and Bhajji, they shud be we'll placed. And plz don't drop hodge for owais shah thinking hodge is a better player of pace and shah a better player of spin. However good shah might be against spin, he has got no match practice. I'd suggest RD to open with Watson. Attack from one side, defend from other.

Posted by phunny_game on (May 23, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

@coldcoffee123: yes it seems unfair when you look at it as a cricket fan... But the teams who have played consistently well all throughout the tournament should be given some advantage over teams who just managed to scrape through... Not talking about this season as the top team was just 2 points more than the 4th. But if a team manages to get through with 16 points, and the top team toils hard to earn 22 points, then they deserve preferential treatment. They earn it :)

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 17:46 GMT)

Mumbai stand up to the pressure. All your good deeds in the league stage should not be wasted. DK needs to cut his irresponsible run scrambling to avoid run outs. Most of the time he gets his partner out because of his unnecessary risks. For Gods sake never ever include Munaf in the playing eleven. When Munaf bowled the first over in the playoff match against CSK, MI's fate was decided. Giving him the 2nd & 3rd over just increased the losing margin. Last two matches they have fell like nine pins, which is unbecoming of their stature. SRT's whole fans are with you MI. Don't disappoint the billions of fans. Get your acts together and the cup is really yours. Rohit and Pollard need to give some huge innings. Best wishes.

Posted by nagendra1221 on (May 23, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

cmon RR we r waiting for the revenge of 2008 final #CSK Fan

Posted by Apocalypse_EX on (May 23, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

The only change I would suggest for RR is that Watson open for the game. He is one of the few batsman outside the sub-continent who can play Malinga comfortably ( Watson has scored 70+ runs from 40 odd balls that he has faced from Malinga overall in T20) not to mention he can counter Mitchell Johnson too.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

The only word that comes to my mind when I see RR ...RESPECT. The way dravid has marshalled this young squad and turned them into a group of winners is just exceptional. Every member has played a part in someway or the other. The important thing being the brilliant performances of most of their overseas recruit on a consistent basis. The road ahead is tough though as they play on a rank turner with 2 of their spinners missing against Mumbai Indians. But when the world says 'give up' hope whispers ' try it one more time'. whatever the result RR has won hearts.

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (May 23, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

The timetable for the 3rd and 4th teams is not fair. While They need to play 3 matches in 6 days to win the IPL trophy. Two of these 3 matches involve beating the top 2 teams in 4 days. How is that a fair deal?

Posted by Romenevans on (May 23, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

Common Boys! Let's do it for RD.

Posted by phunny_game on (May 23, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

These two sides are not evenly matched by any stretch of imagination... I mean when RR decides to play a reserve pacer, its Vikram Malik, and when Mumbai Indians think they should give a chance to a bench warmer, its still Coulter-Nile!!!! That itself shows the difference between the strength and depth of the two squads.

RR do not have anything to lose, they have played good cricket and deserved a no 3 spot, but anything more might just be a bonus. MI will be under immense pressure, but no doubt their spinners are more suited to the Eden gardens pitch than RR's all pace attack. If the curator somehow manages to give a belter, then i assume the conditions will become fair to both sides, and the one mentally capable of handling pressure will come out victorious

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

The danger bowlers of MI like Johnson and malinga will be nullified on slow and sluggish Eden wicket. And their pace will help royal batsmen find those elusive boundaries. On the other hand, slow medium pacers of royals will be handy there. MI batsmen will have to create their own pace against the likes of cooper, trivedi and binny. Royals just need to tackle ojha and bhajji. Royals will be short of a spinner. Is harmeet Singh upto the task? Will dravid gamble playing him in such an important match? One thing: hodge has no place in royals line-up in top 4. Agreed. His role is that of a finisher. Agreed. But for gods sake, give him a cushion of at least one batsman. My line-up will be Dravid, Rahane, Watson, Samson, Binny, Hodge, Yagnik/Baby, Faulkner, Cooper/Badree, harmeet/Malik, Trivedi. And Dravid, plz don't repeat the mistake of batting at no. 8. Dravid is the best bet against spin. So he should open and bat through taking singles to give strike to his power players. Halla Bol RD.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

"Its Time for you Royals to stand up and deliver and make the Gentleman Mr David proud" Go for the Glory !

Posted by Harshmeswanirafanadal on (May 23, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

I am a MI fan but gotta say this team is overrated. Srt and ponting are legends but anything but ideal for 20 20( sachin has still been pretty OK). Pollard is a slogger and nothing more hes unreliable and clicks twice a season cant bowl either. Great fielder though! Our only consistent batsman is rohit andmthis season DK. But the bowling is still very strong. We have to play our best to get past rajasthan as they have great top order. Johnson will hav to get early wkts. We must bat first if win toss. Even if we win this won, i doubt getting past chennai, by far the best ipl team, paper and performance. All the best MUMBAI.

Posted by claudyrayan on (May 23, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

"Belief comes automatically when you can't afford to have the luxury....." A sentence I am going to remember for a long time. Same with smart Dravid's (the good boy of Indian cricket) interview post eliminator match. Thanks Abhishek for a nice review, a fairy-tail in itself :)

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Tournament Results
Super Kings v Mum Indians at Kolkata - May 26, 2013
Mum Indians won by 23 runs
Mum Indians v Royals at Kolkata - May 24, 2013
Mum Indians won by 4 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)
Royals v Sunrisers at Delhi - May 22, 2013
Royals won by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
Super Kings v Mum Indians at Delhi - May 21, 2013
Super Kings won by 48 runs
Sunrisers v KKR at Hyderabad (Deccan) - May 19, 2013
Sunrisers won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
Warriors v Daredevils at Pune - May 19, 2013
Warriors won by 38 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days