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Royals: Dangerous floaters or contenders?

Are the Rajasthan Royals on a roll? The manner in which they subdued the challenge of the Kings XI Punjab indicates that the former champions are getting it together, Sunil Gavaskar comments.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2010 23:49 IST

Are the Rajasthan Royals on a roll? The manner in which they subdued the challenge of the Kings XI Punjab indicates that the former champions are getting it together.

They still are struggling with the batting and they do not have a batsman who can bat for majority of the overs like Kallis or Tendulkar. Graeme Smith and Shane Watson played that role in previous editions but both are not there and so the Royals have been looking to get their top-order right by trying various combinations.

It is here that the experience of Damien Martyn can be used. The former Australian player has hardly played competitive cricket and may struggle a bit, but he has the class to get the team off to a good start.

Like Warne and Kumble with the ball and Hayden, Gilchrist and Symonds with the bat he too may take some games to find his rhythm. But if he does, he could be just the man the Royals need to get them off to a solid start.

After his blistering century against the Mumbai Indians, other teams have decided to bang the ball in short to Yusuf Pathan and not pitch it up in his range. It is obvious that Yusuf will have to practice playing the short ball since he is no longer going to get too many deliveries pitched in his half of the pitch.

The Deccan Chargers have also picked up after losing the first game of the tournament, and with Andrew Symonds contributing with both bat and ball, they are looking a formidable side.

Their batting is their strength and even if Gilchrist manages some 30-odd runs, he gets them off to a quick start that allows the batsmen down the order some leeway.

Both Herschelle Gibbs and Rohit Shrama have not quite clicked as yet and that is putting some strain on the batting.

Chaminda Vaas is still the pick of the bowlers and if RP Singh can bowl some decent spells, the Deccan Chargers will have a deadly attack. This game will be a real test for the Rajasthan Royals and will tell us if they are on their way back or are simply dangerous floaters in the competition.