Their campaign back on track after two consecutive wins, Rajasthan Royals face a stern test of their resilience when they take on a confident Deccan Chargers in an Indian Premier League match on Friday.
The Royals, who had suffered blows after injuries to Graeme Smith and Dmitri Marcarenhas, came up with an all-round show to notch up their second IPL 3 win against laggards Kings XI Punjab last night but a clash against Deccan Chargers would be a much bigger test of character.
Deccan have been on the roll with three victories on the trot after losing their first match against Kolkata Knight Riders and they would want to continue the winning momentum though the crowd at Sardar Patel Stadium at Motera would be rooting for Shane Warne’s men on Friday.
For the Deccan Chargers, Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds seemed to be a born-again cricketer after being dumped from the national side. He had been in consistent form for the Chargers in the IPL 3, including his man of the match winning performance against Delhi Daredevils last week.
Besides Symonds, the top order batsmen, including captain Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs, have got the starts and they are due a big score anytime.
In the bowling front, veteran Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas has been among the wickets and utilising his vast international experience while bowling with the new ball and at the death.
Rohit Sharma and Pragyan Ojha have been doing reasonably well in the bowling front through the former has not been making much contribution with the bat. The only worry for the Chargers has been Rudra Pratap Singh leaking runs without also taking many wickets.
The good news for the Royals is that the side with few big names have been performing as a team in their last two matches.
Fortunately for the Jaipur-based side, Australian pacer Shaun Tait seemed to have got back his rhythm with a fine show against Kings XI Punjab last night. Siddharth Trivedi has been doing the batsmen stiffling job quite well.
In the batting front, the form of Adam Voges who played a quickfire innings last night would be heartening. But the worry of a poor start still persist with the openers not firing so far.
Englishman Michael Lumb made a decent contribution last night but Naman Ojha has not been doing anything worthwhile so far though he has been persisted with at the opener’s slot.
More than a potential cracker of a match, the crowd at the adopted city of the Royals will also see a battle of guiles between two old mates, members of then all-conquering Australian side, now in opposite side as leaders of their own army.