A win is a must for Rajasthan Royals to stay alive in Indian Premier League when they take on laggards Deccan Chargers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal here Friday.
With 14 points from equal number of games (with seven wins and as many losses), Rajasthan Royals still have an outside chance of making the playoff stage if they can record big wins in their remaining two matches against the Chargers tomorrow and Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
The Chargers, lying at the bottom of points table with 11 loses in 14 matches so far, are already out of the contention (for the playoffs) and they can only hope to improve their performance when they take on the Royals at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium at Uppal here tomorrow.
Royals, who have 14 points from 14 matches, will take the field fully aware that a defeat means end of the road for them. They will aim for a huge win and hope for another comprehensive victory in their last encounter against Mumbai Indians to have better run rate in case a couple of other teams also finish with 18 points.
Veteran Dravid and young Ajinkya Rahane will have to shoulder a huge responsibility of giving a flying start to the visitors as the team has done well every time they put on a good opening partnership.
Rahane, who has amassed 541 runs, the third highest in IPL-5, and Dravid, who is ninth on the list with 418 runs, will be looking another impressive partnership to steer the team to victory.
The Rajasthan team would also be relying on Shane Watson, who scored a quickfire 58 and claimed two wickets in the victory against Pune Warriors in their last match. The visitors would also be banking on Brad Hodge and Owais Shah.
In the bowling department, Sidharth Trivedi, Amit Singh and Johan Botha have the potential to deliver match winning performances.
Royals are not likely to take Chargers lightly as the home team would be looking to avoid its sixth consecutive defeat. With just two wins from 14 matches, the hosts are at the bottom of the table and would be desperate for a win to break the jinx at their home ground.
Lady luck has not favoured Chargers as they lost some matches despite posting big totals. In the last match at Mohali, they were defeated by Punjab Kings XI despite setting 190-plus target.
With several match winners among their ranks, Chargers are capable of avoiding another defeat. As in the previous matches, they will be heavily banking on Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White, the fourth and the sixth highest run scorers respectively in this tournament.
Dale Steyn, one of the most successful bowlers, has the capability to change the game. However, the bowling department remained weak with other bowlers not living up to the expectations.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Parthiv Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, Bharat Chipli, Cameron White, Jean Paul Duminy, Dan Christian, Ashish Reddy, Amit Mishra, Juan Theron, Manpreet Gony, Kedar Devdhar, Daniel Harris, Ishank Jaggi, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Akash Bhandari, Chris Lynn, Tanmay Mishra.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Stuart Binny, Johan Botha, Deepak Chahar, Ajit Chandila, Dinesh Chandimal, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Paul Collingwood, Aditya Dole, Samad Fallah, Faiz Fazal, Shreevats Goswami, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Pankaj Singh, Amit Paunikar, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Raut, Owais Shah, Pinal Shah, Amit Singh, Shaun Tait, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson and Dishant Yagnik.