As the race to the summit of the 2015 IPL heats up, Sports Rediscovered takes a look at the top contenders. While the Chennai Super Kings are at the summit, the Rajasthan Royals look set to seal second position. Today, we take a look at the chances of the Rajasthan Royals.
A bridge too far from a spot in the playoffs?
In spite of getting off to a rather decent start, it seems as though the Royals have lost stream. They sit at 5th position on the table and qualification to the playoffs looks like an uphill task. The form of Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane has been a heavily worrying factor for the former champions.
The batting position of Sanju Samson too has been quite baffling. Given the 19 year old’s stroke-play and cool head, one would question why he does not bat higher up in the order. Chris Morris and Tim Southee have been the silver lining amid the ups and downs in this season.
While the Rajasthan Royals battle the extremes within their team, the inclusion of Shane Watson has strengthened all departments of the team.
Rajasthan Royals: SWOT Analysis
We take a quick look at the numbers favoring the Royals.
Strength: While many would question certain tactics of the Rajasthan Royals, it is pretty clear that the batting is the clear strength. Should the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith regain their form, the Royals can become a formidable unit once again.
Weakness: The weakness of the Royals can be attributed to many aspects. Having mentioned earlier, the batting position of Sanju Samson is a critical area. With Smith, Watson and Rahane occupying the first three slots, the middle order looks a bit feeble. After Deepak Hooda and Karun Nair, there is not much left in the batting.
Thus, strengthening the middle order will be key as they face off the Kolkata Knight Riders in a must win encounter.
Opportunities: The opportunity is quite clear for the Royals. If they win they go through and if not, the 2015 campaign comes to an unfortunate end.
Threats: The X Factor for the Royals is Deepak Hooda. On his day, Hooda can be at his devastating best. Therefore, the Royals will be hoping that the 19-year old all rounder will come good as the fight to stay in the IPL goes on.
The Numbers Game
Sanju Samson has averaged 40+ while batting at number two or three. However, batting anywhere lower, the 19 year old has managed only a string of single digit scores.
8- The number of times the Royals have defeated the Knight Riders in all 14 games played in the IPL.
4- The number of times the Knight Riders have beaten the Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens.
32- The number of runs Ajinkya Rahane need to reach the 2000 run mark in IPL cricket
6.85- The economy of Brad Hogg in T20 cricket. We may just see the Aussie replace Shakib-Al-Hasan for this one
20– The winning percentage of the Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens thus far. Therefore, the Royals will not be favorites should they enter the final of this season’s IPL.
13.33- The probability of the Royals clinching the IPL this season given the fact that the Eden Gardens will host the final.