The Rajasthan Royals, who have sympathisers and admirers in equal measure, are losing the plot.
Even if Shane Warne manages something outrageous, it might not be enough. The Royals’ match against the Knight Riders is critical but not decisive.
Lady luck obviously hasn’t been on Shane Warne’s side. Injuries took away Graeme Smith and Dimitri Mascarenhas early and Shane Watson joined too late. Shaun Tait could have been invaluable with his searing pace but the Aussie was inconsistent.
Warne too hasn’t measured up to his exacting standards. He might have bowled an extraordinary spell or two; his captaincy might have lit up the IPL at times, yet it will be asking for too much from them to make the semis.
The two primary issues have been the batting slots of Yusuf Pathan and Watson. The latter is a known opener, yet is batting too low in this IPL. The same is true with Pathan. A man with a destructive streak needs to bat higher up. Poor starts have been the bane, yet key men are being unwrapped too late in the innings.
Naman Ojha is successful yet coming in at number three would do him no harm. No bowler has been a standout performer either. It’s also not funny to see so many run-outs.
If fate hasn’t been kind to the Royals, they have done their own bit to ensure it stays that way!