*No illustrative chart in this one! I got a little late !*
RR : 1/5
It’s tough to pick the poison between RR’s batting and bowling. In game against Bangalore, the bowlers didn’t manage to pick up even a single wicket, trying to defend a pathetic score. Morkel didn’t look impressive, but would you sit him down for Tait? Narwal and Munaf had no effect , and I’d get in Kamran Khan for Narwal. Warne himself has been dealt with fairly easily so far, and needs to get Botha , and hope that there’s some variety in the bowling.
Sharma and Bond should be able to get the batsmen hopping. Karthik and Mathews been in good rhythm, and Hodge, Ganguly, Shukla, Gayle should be easily able to fill up for upto 8 overs! Good choice of players is important, and most importantly, they need to gameplan better for the end overs. Dhoni made them pay in the last game, and they need to ensure that Yusuf doesn’t get into the act.
With most of their batsmen out of form, and a blueprint available to counter Yusuf, things are going from worse to STINK for RR. They need their players to fire, and fire SOON. All of them cannot be going for their shots all the time. Martyn’s presence could have been useful, but Vogues must inject some energy into the team now.
Many of their batsmen have gotten runs in some of their innings, but Dada is yet to look comfortable in this line up, and his success is important for the unit. Their lower order seems to lack a couple of proven hitters (I am not yet convinced of Gavaskar and Shukla), and hence, Dada’s form is crucial.
KKR: Tiwary, Hodge, Ganguly, Mathews, Shah, Saha, Shukla, Gavaskar, Sharma, Bond, Karthik
RR: Vogues, Asnodkar, Lumb, N. Ohja, Jhunjunwala, Dogra, Pathan, Warne, Tait, Patel, Khan
Royals Bowling vs KKR Batting: ADVANTAGE KKR
Hodge will open with Tiwary,as Gayle isn’t playing today. In fact, I’d recommend Ganguly open with Hodge so that he is under least pressure , with Tiwary coming at 1 down.
For Royals, this would be the moment for Captain Warne to open the bowling and provide a couple of breakthroughs. That would be a huge boost of confidence for his team, and will make them believe that the captain is leading from the front. Unfortunately , he needs his other bowlers to pile the pressure, and I’d bank on KKR to have the edge here with superior talent in batting.
KKR Bowling vs Royals Batting: ADVANTAGE KKR
Keep atleast 5 overs of Bond/Sharma/Mathews for the RR middle order – namely Yusuf. Bangalore has shown the blueprint for containing Yusuf, and all KKR have to do is simply follow it.
For RR, they need to pick one of Lumb and Vogues and get them to open the innings and keep Asnodkar/Ohja going. Pathan needs to be patient and see out the pace bowlers, for he knows that even 1 over of him could be the difference between utter suck and respectability for RR. Again, KKR’s bowling has a little too much quality for RR’s line up.
RR might show significant improvement in this one, but KKR takes the win, and goes 3-1.
Later- a preview on the big game, and Possible Live Thread time!