CONSISTENCY AT HOME vs CONSISTENTCY OVER THE YEARS
The first semi-final of the CLT20 2013 that is going to be played at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium at Jaipur will definitely be the tightest and the most watched match of the Tournament, as both teams involved have loyal fan bases. Rajasthan Royals are yet to be defeated at home this year. They played 12 matches including IPL and have beaten every single team that visited. But even then they should be aware that they are up against a side which has a line up, when looked up gives us the feeling “who can’t bat and who can’t bowl in this side?” Looking at the build up to the match One cannot ignore the fact that the match is going to be fiercely battled. For Once every fan wonders “WILL THE FORTRESS BE BREACHED?”
Probably the best team in this CLT20 2013 edition. With experience coming from the Veteran Rahul Dravid, All-rounders Shane Watson and Brad Hodge. Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson and others have done commendable job by rallying around the more experienced batsmen. One thing to be noted by RR in this tournament is that they put in an all-round performance. It’s not the same player who won them matches throughout the tournament. Every match a new player chipped in, in one match it was Samson and Malik, in another match it is Watson and Tambe. Every player is exhuming with confidence. The bowlers in the side need special mention. The RR bowlers have mastered the art of bowling in the right areas on the seaming pitch. Led by ever consistent James Faulkner and comforted by the presence of Kevin Cooper, the surprise package Vikramjeet Malik and Rahul Shukla, the spinner Pravin Tambe. Not great but the most effective line up for the lively pitch on offer.
On the other hand we have a team which is all that RR is in this tournament. Probably a team that has mastered T20’s. The consistency with which they reach Knock out stage in every tournament they play is simply miraculous considering the unpredictability of the format. Mike Hussey is definitely the asset in any team, but in CSK he finds company with players who can score with similar consistency. Murali Vijay the man known for rising upto the challenge in high pressure encounters is capable of creating a sand storm in Jaipur. Suresh Raina in the tournament has been so consistent this tournament that even Mike Hussey would be really proud of Him. Badrinath well known for the calming effect that he provides in case wickets falling in a hurry. The team can boast of terrific all-rounders in Albie Morkel, Darren Bravo and Jadeja. The bowling can be their undoing if their strike bowlers Jason Holder, Mohit Sharma and Ashwin do not pick wickets at intervals.
Prediction: RR in a tight contest. Fans might want MI vs CSK in Finals, but to beat RR on a lively pitch looks difficult