ROYALS WILL LOOK TO LEAVE WITH THEIR HEADS HELD HIGH
DATE: 20th May, 2012
TIME: 20:00 (IST)
VENUE:SawaiMansingh Stadium, Jaipur
The hopes are put to rest, after a tournament that started with much aplomb the Rajasthan Royals will be mighty disappointed to not make the cut. Given the format this year, 9 wins would almost guarantee a team a spot in the top 4. After 6 games the Royals had 4 wins, which meant that they needed just 50% wins in the next 10 games. However a streak of four losses made it a monster task for the Royals, which now has come to an end.
The Royals will look back and feel that there were 2-3 games that have made the difference of them being on the other side of the fence. Their games against Chennai were very close; they stretched CSK to the last ball but finished on the losing end. They then almost had them on the mat in Jaipur, though Morkel and Anirudha had other ideas. Not to forget the tragic loss against Delhi where they needed 15 from the last 2 overs with 9 wickets intact. But then thats cricket, win some and loose some.
However, all is not lost! Pride is still at stake and there is still a little fight for the 6th and 7th spots so there is motivation for the Royals to go out and win. Mumbai on the other hand are now through courtesy the recent losses than the Royals and Punjab suffered, though they might have their interests revived if KKR go down to PWI. A win then will give them the opportunity to leap frog to second spot, which grants one direct access to the finals or a lifeline if one loses.
The Royals have been having a disappointing time at their fortress. This being the last game, theyll want to go out all guns blazing to turn the tables and salvage an important win for their home fans and restoring their fortress. With the pressure off from the play-offs, the Royals can go out and play aggressive cricket quite fearlessly. Rahul Dravid has captained a bunch of talented young cricketers brilliantly well and itll time that the young Royals return the favour to their captain.
Itll be a fascinating contest as two of Indias pillars, Dravid and Tendulkar, face-off in an epic battle. Malinga has been sensational this season and so have Dravid, Rahane and Watson for the Royals at the top of the order. The last time the two teams met, Mumbai Indians were made to sweat by Rahane and Shah who fought back sensationally after Mumbai posted a formidable total in a high scoring game. Jaipur too should offer a riveting contest between the two sides.
PLAYER WHO WOULD BRING HIS TEAM HOME
Rahul Dravid: The Royals captain has had a prolific season with 457 runs, well surpassing his previous aggregates from the previous IPL editions. Being his last outing for the season until he comes back next year, the Royals captain would aim to leave not only on a winning note but also a personal high in terms of runs.
Sachin Tendulkar: By his own standards, he has had a disappointing tournament. Having missed a few games as well, including the last game against the Royals, Tendulkar too would want to leave Jaipur and walk into the play-offs on a high.
The pitch at Jaipur has been a good cricketing wicket with a near even contest between bat and ball. However, the wicket has got slower and run scoring has got exceedingly difficult, evident with the fact that the Royals nearly defended a meager total against Chennai. Batting first and targeting 150 might be the way to go at Jaipur for this one.
FORM FACTOR (most recent match
Rajasthan Royals: LWLWW
Mumbai Indians: LWWLW