When Kolkata Knight Riders play Rajasthan Royals, the winner is not difficult to predict considering how lucky KKR has been to have been still winning two matches, and how Royals could have been in a better position than winning just 2 matches. The competition between them is to leave UAE with more wins than losses as they play their last match. Gambhir has been telling an unforgettable and unwanted tale of ducks, while Yusuf Pathan received his last Player of the Match award when KKR defeated RR when they met last time in 2013. Although they are placed in the top four at the Points tally, but, on current performances KKR appears to be waiting to return home, and Royals appear a clear winner today.
Journey So Far in 2014
Both have two wins and two losses.
- Def MI by 41 runs
Lost to DD by 4 wickets
Def RCB by 2 runs
Lost to KXIP by 23 runs
Def SRH by 4 wickets
Lost to KXIP by 7 wickets
Lost to CSK by 7 runs
Def RCB by 6 wickets
They have played one of the two ties recorded in IPL history. Considering the talent and money factor, KKR has a lot, while RR is relying on sheer extraordinary performances from a pool of young talented guns. The model turned successful in 2008, and Dravid used the same model to make his team finish third in 2013, which was only their second semifinal.
Head-to-Head KKR 6-6 RR
RR def KKR by 45 runs
RR def KKR by 6 Wickets
RR def KKR in Super Over (After tie)
KKR def RR by 4 Wickets
RR def KKR by 34 Runs
KKR def RR by 8 Wickets
- RR won by 19 runs, MOM: Siddharth Trivedi
KKR won by 8 wkts, MOM: Yusuf Pathan
Overall IPL Performances
RR has won 51 and lost 43 matches, besides being part of 2 no results, which is the third best win loss ratio in IPL. KKR has won 44 and lost 48 matches with 3 no results, easily the worst record by any team in IPL. Only twice (2011 and 2012) has KKR won more matches in an edition than they lost. RR also has the same result as only twice they won more than they lost, and both the times they reached the final. Both have won it once each.
KKR has two wins, but even they do not from where did it come. Such is the team performance. In the first game whatever Kallis and Manish Pandey scored, the bowling unit managed to defend convincingly. In the second game again Manish Pandey and Co gave them a good total but bowlers failed to check the surging DD batsmen. Their third win was more of a gift from RCB and fourth loss was again failure of batsmen. So far, Narine, Kallis, Manish Pandey, Morne Morkel and Chris Lynn are their key performers. But they are outnumbered by the non-performers in the teams who are not getting replaced, including Yusuf Pathan and bowlers. Except Narine they do not have a consistent performer so far, and on top of that Gambhir is finding it difficult to even score a run in 4 innings.
Rajasthan Royals on the other hand are in better form as a team. Rahane, Samson, Watson are appearing in control with bat. Watson has started bowling too. Comparatively, with their own performances in previous editions, their bowling is yet to settle, still Tambe and Rajat Bhatia are doing an impressive job. Southee, Faulkner, Richardson need more time to settle.
Nobody understands if a captain fails why the successful team member will suffer. Why was Manish Pandey forced to open? Why is Doeschate still warming the benches as he was in earlier editions?
So, overall KKR appears to be losing more because of an unsettled captain whose failure with the bat might have been easily forgotten if he had shown good leadership skills. KKR fans will pray again for use of better sense by their captain in selecting the Playing XI. They have the men, but they do not have a plan on how to use the resources.
Rajasthan Royals, having the only Indian coach of IPL in Sanjay Bangar, appears well settled despite two losses. Their team appears stron as the Indian resources are matching shoulders with the foreign players. Based on overall team confidence Rajasthan Royals should win the game.