Royals look to get back to winning ways
Hosts Rajasthan Royals, for whom the defeat against Mumbai Indians came as a rude shock after five straight wins, will be keen to return to their winning ways against Deccan Chargers in their IPL match at the Sawai Man Singh stadium on Friday.
Shane Warne's team was totally outplayed Wednesday night just when they were riding high on consecutive wins at the half-way stage of the Twenty20 tournament, which they began with the tag of underdogs after their opening match loss.
At present, with 5-2 record, they share the top spot with Kings XI Punjab and are well placed in the race for the semifinals but lag behind on run rate.
The heartening fact for Warne is that they now play two matches on home turf and Warne has already started calculating how to extract the maximum out of home advantage. Besides, the loss also gives them an opportunity to regroup themselves and work out new strategies.
Although the batting of Rajasthan Royals miserably failed with only Swapnil Asnodkar and Shane Watson getting into the double figure but it was more because of the fact that Mumbai bowlers made full use of the conditions and sent visitors gasping.
On the other hand, Deccan Chargers may have left wanted with their performance but the victory over Chennai Super Kings has given them more self belief.
The fifty plus runs innings of Australian Adam Gilchrist paved way for Deccan Chargers. Though skipper V V S Laxman, who could not play in last match due to fitness problems, too has played few good knocks and their batting has been dependent on Rohit Sharma.
South African Herschelle Gibbs and Pakistani Shahid Afridi are yet to make their presence felt in the team. It was the medium pacers Vijay Kumar, R P Singh, and New Zealander Scott Styris who exploited good bowling conditions to pave victory over Chennai Super Kings.
The Deccan Chargers are trying hard to regain the ground they had lost in earlier matches rather unexpectedly. They mean business, this can be judged by the fact that they came here a little earlier to get acclimatised with the conditions.
The match will be played on the same strip on which hosts had defeated Kolkata Knight Riders.
"It will be a good wicket for 20-20," assured curators Abdul Saeed and Taposh Chatterji.