Tuesday’s double-header at Durban sees Rajasthan Royals take on Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils face Kolkata Knight Riders.
Never say die
Rajasthan Royals have been like the cockroach in this edition of the IPL — every time you stamp on them, they get back on their feet and clamber all over you. Their ambush of the Deccan Chargers is a case in point. However, against Kings XI Punjab, their bowling resources will be depleted without pacer Kamran Khan. It will also be interesting to see how Munaf Patel reacts to his omission from the India squad for the ICC World T20 Championship.
Yuvi must roar
KXIP on the other hand have been like a lion, the king of the jungle, but a bit too lazy to go hunting regularly. Their underachievement begins at the top, with skipper Yuvraj Singh not scoring as many runs as he would have liked.
Brother v brother
An interesting sideshow to the contest will be the battle between the Pathan brothers, Royals’ Yusuf and KXIP’s Irfan. Both are in excellent form, but Yusuf will be hoping to take revenge for the 27-run loss at the hands of KXIP in their previous meeting.
Kolkata Knight Riders, with three points from eight matches, are probably past looking for a turnaround in the tournament; skipper Brendon McCullum will give his tattooed arm and a leg just for a couple of wins.
To make things more difficult for them, the skewed schedule has meant they are yet to play Delhi Daredevils in IPL-II and will face the explosive side twice in the next six days. Given KKR’s bowling resources, Gautam Gambhir, A.B. de Villiers and Tillakratne Dilshan will be falling over themselves to get to the crease.
Chris Gayle is finally gone. Director of coaching John Buchanan's theories lie in shambles: his team was supposed to have four captains, it has three wicketkeepers instead and now he is asking the IPL to allow more than four foreigners per side. But some SRK fans will still feel there is something nice left in the script. For others, the only upshot of this disastrous campaign can be the removal of Buchanan.
Viru unlikely to play
Virender Sehwag is likely to miss out the action owing to a finger injury that kept him out from the last game as well. "Sehwag is probably going to miss the game. But we are going to monitor him in the morning,” said coach Greg Shipperd.