Despite winning five matches in a row at the start of the season, Rajasthan Royals are not yet assured of a berth in the play-offs. Still, a solitary win in the last seven matches is inexplicable.
That inconsistency is what the team has been known for. Anyone who had watched them lose their crucial match against Mumbai Indians last season — it eventually cost them a play-off berth — would not be surprised by their four losses in the last seven outings.
They were at the mercy of rain gods twice, depriving them of an opportunity to force wins against Bangalore and Kolkata. But they also had their chances to make amends, especially away to MI.
With just two matches left in the league stage, the Shane Watson-led team need a win to keep their campaign alive. However, they are unlikely to get any respite against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
Their eight-wicket win against Chennai the last time they met in Ahmedabad had propelled them to the top of table. But beating the twice champions in their fortress, MA Chidambaram Stadium, has always been an uphill task. Royals though can take inspiration from MI’s win over CSK on Friday. “We played our best game of the tournament the last time we played them (CSK). They’ll be hungry to turn it around and we know it will be tough to beat them here, especially after their loss in the last game,” RR’s Tim Southee said.
Since IPL began, Rajasthan have been the only franchise to bank more on domestic players than imports. Southee said: “Stuart Binny, Ajinkya Rahane and Dhawal Kulkarni have been with the Indian team so we have a good mix.”