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Champs keen to keep clean slate

india Updated: Apr 08, 2013 03:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will look to extend their unbeaten start to the season when they face hosts Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on Monday.

KKR defeated the Delhi Daredevils in the opening match before the Royals put one past the Delhi franchise on their home turf at the Kotla on Saturday.

There are question marks over Royals’ captain Rahul Dravid's presence, although indications are that he will put his injury woes aside and step on the field on Monday. Royals’ star all-rounder Shane Watson’s presence looks dicier even though the burly Australian had a special batting session at the nets on Sunday.

KKR, on the other hand, also have a full-strength squad, but history is not on their side, having lost their last match at this venue.

The defending champions still have a deep squad with a host of game-changing batsmen including skipper Gautam Gambhir and mainstay Jacques Kallis. Their bowling is just as efficient with the likes of medium-pacers of L Balaji and the mystery spin of Sunil Narine.

The Royals, on the other hand, need their bowlers to step up after part-timer Kevon Cooper stole the show with a match-winning spell.

It’s the scoring puzzle that’s proving a more elusive one for the Royals. Heavily dependent on Dravid, it was the weak batting performance of the Daredevils that bailed them out.