Rajasthan v Bangalore, IPL 2010, Jaipur April 14, 2010

Bangalore and Rajasthan eye crucial win


Match facts

Wednesday, April 14
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

A win on Wednesday, for either side, will be a huge step towards a spot in the final four. Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore are coming off painful losses, during which they failed to grab key opportunities, and are tied on 12 points with three other teams. Whoever loses this encounter will then have to win their final game convicningly, and will still need other results to go their way. So tight is the points table that neither Shane Warne nor Anil Kumble would want to leave the fates of their sides to outside chance.

The stakes are higher for Rajasthan, given that their position is weaker thanks to a net run rate of -0.288 that currently leaves them fifth in the points table. Their fortunes have changed remarkably since their first meeting with Bangalore. The defeat in that game was Rajasthan's third in a row, and their campaign looked in shambles. Since then, they strung together four consecutive wins before dropping two, followed by a win and a loss. Through their topsy-turvy tournament, they have remained in contention thanks in no small part to the leadership of Shane Warne, who has again managed to get a lot out of his inexperienced players. Now it is crunch time and it'll take more than the odd canny bowling change or inspired field placement to take them further.

Rajasthan's main area of concern going into the match will be the state of their batting. In their previous match they failed to put up a fight in a stiff chase against Mumbai, after losing three crucial wickets to run-outs. To avoid another such mishap, they need their batsmen to regain control and Yusuf Pathan, in the midst of a slump, at his aggressive best. Their chances will also depend on the batting of the openers and the all-round abilities of Shane Watson.

Bangalore's campaign has also lost steam after a strong start, and both batsmen and bowlers are to be blamed. In the last match, the batting approach was quixotic, with Jacques Kallis' slow-coach ways in contrast to Rahul Dravid's fluency. It was down to Robin Uthappa's clean hitting to lift the middle order after four wickets fell in consecutive overs. Too much was left on his plate and he fell just when he seemed to be scripting a classic. In the losses before that game, the bowlers lost the plot, failing to defend 184 against Deccan, and conceding as many against Delhi. The strong batting line-up has been patchy, often putting too much pressure on Kallis who cannot shift gears easily. The side that was branded a Test team in 2008 seems to slipping towards that label.

Form guide (most recent first)

Rajasthan LWWLL
Bangalore LWLLW

Team talk

One of Rajasthan's highly regarded domestic players, Aditya Dole, dropped the match against Mumbai, and even a spirited innings down the order may not be enough to keep him in the playing XI. There could also be a recall for Shaun Tait at the expense of Adam Voges, given the way Sachin Tendulkar punished their seam attack.

Bangalore's middle order has been a worry throughout the tournament, despite how strong it looks on paper, and it is foreseeable that Kevin Pietersen returns in place of Cameron White. The bowlers did wonderfully to try and set up the chase in the previous match, and the only disappointment was KP Appanna, who could face the axe for this key clash.

In the spotlight

Shane Warne: Few will doubt his leadership skills, but Warne the bowler has yet to really make an impact in the IPL. He has struggled to make the breakthroughs and his one stellar outing had more to do with Deccan Chargers' nerves than his own magic. His ineffectiveness against Tendulkar proved critical in the defeat against Mumbai: Tendulkar took him for three boundaries in an over, and 23 runs overall from 15 balls. Those boundaries changed the tone of Tendulkar's game and he revived Mumbai from a disastrous start to a big total.

Siddharth Trivedi: He has been Warne's go-to man ever since he returned to the line-up after missing the first few games, and his fall-ball delivery is the slower one. It has foxed several batsmen this year and was a key weapon in the end overs against Deccan. However, things went awry against Mumbai and his 20-run final over hurt Rajasthan. He'll hope it was an off-day, but with the margin for error narrowing, Trivedi may have to try something else tomorrow.

Ross Taylor: The man who is keeping Kevin Pietersen out of the line-up has not delivered this season. In the last game Taylor was yorked by RP Singh for one off five balls in a pressure situation; in the previous game against Deccan he was trapped lbw by Pragyan Ojha for 1. Against Delhi Daredevils he fell slogging Rajat Bhatia for 22 off 10 to open up the floodgates. Teams seem to have figured out Taylor's penchant for deep square-leg and deep midwicket, so they've not been feeding him much on the middle and leg line. The spinners, importantly, haven't given any air and the manner in which Ojha beat him for pace was telling. Bhatia too got him with a slow off-cutter. Taylor needs to start thinking out of the box if he's going to make an impact.


Rajasthan 3 Bangalore 2
Rajasthan's first match against Bangalore this season was utter disaster - they were bowled out for 92 and the home side steamed to a ten-wicket win.

Prime Numbers

  • Anil Kumble has the edge over Shane Warne in terms of their bowling numbers in IPL 2010. Kumble has 11 wickets to Warne's 10. Kumble concedes 6.16 per over, while Warne is far more expensive, going for 7.74.

  • Overall too, Bangalore's spinners have done better than Rajasthan's. Slow bowlers from either side have taken 15 wickets each, but while Bangalore's average 30.20 per wicket and 6.88 per over, Rajasthan's average 43.93 per wicket and 7.56 per over.

  • Warne has dismissed Bangalore's top-order pair of Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid 19 times in international cricket: Kallis has fallen to him 11 times and Dravid eight.

  • Both Kallis and Naman Ojha have been prolific openers, outscoring their team-mates by some distance, but the telling point has been Ojha's strike-rate. Against Kallis' 121.37, which has at times hurt Bangalore, Ojha's healthy 138.58 is a boost for a side lacking muscle.

The chatter

"Kallis has won us a couple of games earlier but today he got stuck; You can't expect someone like Robin Uthappa to see you through."

Anil Kumble's message to his most prolific batsman is loud and clear

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amit on April 14, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    I dont think RR has any chance of winning its match against RCB. It depends too much on Yusuf Pathan for winning matches. Its Bowlers arent as good as any other teams. RR is one team that has a lot of luck factor associated with it, like its match against DC. I dont think they will even qualify for Semifinals.

    I think MI, RCB, DC and CSK have a very good chances of making semis. Most probably MI wont win the IPL this year though it may go to finals. Sachin will as usual fail on the big day.

  • Mustafa on April 14, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    IPL should not have semi-finals

    My opinion is that IPL should not have semi-finals; instead two top teams should play finals.

    There is no use of just 4 teams getting in and 4 teams getting out after playing long 2 months 14 matches. Just imagine if Mumbai Indians who won the most number of matches and loose semi-finals.

    Instead of semi-finals, direct finals can be played best of 3 matches between 2 top teams.

    I will not feel good for any team who wins most round matches and loose just one semi-final.

  • gowrishankar on April 14, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Rajasthan's most crucial game today... thy need upcoming two matches win for their semi...

  • Dummy4 on April 14, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    When Steyn is firing his bouncers, its little chance for RR tonight. Its proven fact that Indian players are scared of short deliveries. Warne can also try unused Flinch for this match, so that atleast two players can give them a decent total.

  • Athil on April 14, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    Royal's fortress will be hard to breach. RCB will have to play out of their skins. What an amazing tournament its turning out to be. All the remaining matches are like virtual quater finals. TV networks, sponsonrs, IPL management will all be drooling over.

  • Mohan on April 14, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    RCB have to win today's match to reach SF. they have a good run rate and a thumping win today should secure the SF spot. But what happens then? MI and CSK look in smoking form. (but T20 anything can change)

    Give Steyn some backup, Why not unleash Mithun and Steyn from two ends? pitch it in short and fast, that should get attention from RR Indian contingent, esp. Ojha, Pathan and Jhunjhunwala.

  • Ramchandra on April 14, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    KP is a much better option compared to Kallis man Kallis is too slow and not much of a great bowler either....

  • Dummy4 on April 14, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Taylor and White should be given chance to come up the order.. Probably Taylor should be the opener so enough time is given to show his destructive capabilities.. Most team unlike bangalore are making use of the clean striker of the balls in first six overs.. Given the fact they have utthapa, taylor and white three good clean striker of the ball make even more compelling reason to have white or taylor to open. Uttapha doing a good job at the finishing end so his position shouldn't be touched..

  • Dummy4 on April 14, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    Hey Warnie Get your Team Going...................play Mature Cricket Get Munaf/Amit singh In for A.Dare....Batting Order Lumb,Ojha,jhunjunwal,Voges,Watson,then Situational Yusuf Tell Yusuf need 40 of 20 Balls and not 100 on 37 Balls

  • Darshan on April 14, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    Kallis has always been a very good, but very selfish player. He has often cared more for personal glory. Even now he is doing so. He clearly wants to ensure he gets enough runs so that he gets hold of the orange cap again, and consequently gets himself in an ODI mode from which he can't accelerate out. Early in the tournament, he was batting alot more aggressively. Sachin deserves that orange cap way more than Kallis, everytime sachin has scored a fifty mumbai have crucially ended winning the game. And RCB persist with Kallis, they must not have Pandey then Dravid and then maybe even pietersen following! They must open with Uthappa. He has opened before so is no stranger. And even if he gets out, Bangalore have other finishers to come with White or Taylor(whichever plays) and even Kohli as he shown that he can accelerate too.

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