After a brilliant win against KXIP, RR take on KKR, at Jaipur on Sunday, April 8, 2012. KKR lost their opening rain-curtailed match to DD and will be keen to open their winning account against Rahul Dravid’s side.
RR are likely to go with an unchanged side from the one that saw them trump KXIP and all eyes will be on Ajinkya Rahane who was unlucky to fall two runs short of what would have been this year’s first ton. While the top order RR batsmen stood up to be counted, the bowlers came for some stick from the KXIP batsmen who registered a reasonably good reply to the imposing RR score of 191, by scoring 160, themselves.
Kevon Cooper was the sole exception among the RR bowlers and the West Indian took 4/26 and had a brilliant day in the field and accounted for most of the other KXIP wickets that fell, as well. The RR bowlers like Chavan, Amit Singh and Trivedi had to hold the fort in the absence of the injured Sreesanth, and under the circumstances can be said to have given a reasonable account of themselves, as they managed to hold out for a win.
KKR’s vaunted top order batting line up comprising marquee names such as McCullum, Kallis, Gambhir and Pathan failed to deliver against DD and they would be raring to go against a relatively inexperienced RR attack. With Shukla and Das bring up the lower middle order, KKR bat long and deep and that should give them an edge against a young RR side.
However the bowling attack led by Lee and De Lange conceded too many runs against DD, with the latter going for 36 runs in 3 overs, and that spell made the difference in a tight game that KKR could have won. De Lange will be lucky to retain his place that could well be taken by Ten Doeschate.
Before the tournament began, KKR would have been named favourites to win this game with the Kolkata side having won both the maches between the sides in 2011. But under the changed circumstances, RR surely have the edge, especially as their young side will not to carry any pressure of expectation. Also, RR have won 13 of 16 IPL games played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
RR’s probable eleven: Dravid, Rehane, Menaria, Hodge, Shah, Cooper, Botha, Chavan, Singh, Goswami, Trivedi.
KKR’s probable eleven: Gambhir, McCullum, Kallis, Tiwary, Pathan, Das, Shukla, Doeschate, Bhatia, Lee, Abdulla.
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