IPL 2013: Rajasthan Royals vs Pune Warriors – Live IPL Score
Homecoming is always sweet and for Rajasthan Royals, Sawai Mansingh Stadium has been a lucky fortress. Rahul Dravid’s men have won all five games played here and will be eager to put their campaign back on track when they take on bottom-placed Pune Warriors on Sunday.
With the competition hotting up, it’s important to win almost all their games, and after the loss against Kolkata Knight Riders the Royals will have to bank on their good home run to stay in the fray.
On paper, this is a game of contrasts. Having pocketed 12 points from 10 games, the Royals could stand a chance of making it to the playoffs, while Pune Warriors are all but out of the race. But then, wounded tigers are always dangerous and that’s what will keep Dravid on tenterhooks. With Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch striking form, the Warriors could well throw up new challenges for the home team.
For Rajasthan, the in-form Shane Watson and youngster Sanju Samson need to fire. The unknown Samson has been a real discovery for the Royals this season, and while coming back from injury, Watson too has strengthened the attack.
Drawing lessons from the defeat against KKR, the Royals might make a few changes. With James Faulkner failing to perform in the last couple of games, Kevon Cooper could be brought in along with Ajit Chandila.
In the batting department, Ajinkya Rahane’s indifferent form could force Dravid to promote himself up the order. In the last five games, bowlers have had the edge at the SMS and keeping that in mind, Shaun Tait could well be in the Royals scheme of things.
On the other hand, a desperate Pune will be looking to play party poopers. Having the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashok Dinda in their ranks, they could stage an upset on any given day. Angelo Mathews’ performance against the Royal Challengers Bangalore will boost Pune’s confidence too.
Royals, however, hold the aces.