The next match for Rajasthan Royals is indeed going to be a do or die for the team if it has to be relevant in the third season of the Indian Premier League. The match at Ahmedabad turned into a damp squib when Yusuf Pathan ballooned a ball to A B Devilliers and was out on duck. Once he was gone the team could not get out of the shell. From this perspective it indeed is instructive to analyze whether the team is relying too much on the individual brilliance of Yusuf Pathan as a batsman to wade through in a match. If that is so, then the fortunes of the team indeed would continue to oscillate from one spectrum to another without adapting consistency.
Earlier a Yusuf Pathan was followed by Ravinder Jadeja, and that used to provide solidity to batting even if Pathan had departed cheaply. Now that Jadeja is out of the team, the onus of performance has fallen singularly on Pathan, and it could not be a good omen for the Rajasthan Royals. Graeme Hick is also off color and seems not to have recovered from the injury that it sustained in the recently held series between India and South Africa. Once performance of Hick also becomes hazy, then one does not have same confidence in other batsmen, as they have not displayed prowess with the bat to instill confidence of wading the team through to a decent score. It was evident in the inaugural match with the Mumbai Indians and came out starkly in the match with the Delhi Daredevils.
As an interesting sidelight to the batting performance of Rajasthan Royals one wonders whether the swarm of insects was also instrumental in less than creditable performance with the bat. When the match had started Motera stadium of Ahmedabad was swarming with insects and it could have been difficult to site the ball through the swarm of insects. By the time Delhi Daredevils the party of the insects was over and the sky had cleared out in a much better manner, and it could also have led to murderous onslaught by Virender Sehwag.
Rajasthan Royals have to play couple of matches at Ahmedabad and they would have to get over this problem as early as possible if they want to make a presence in the third season of the IPL. Other batsmen of the team need to rise to the occasion.
By: Suman Rai