Royals eye revenge win against lowly Warriors

Royals eye revenge win against lowly Warriors

Revenge would be on top of Rajasthan Royals’ agenda when they host a struggling Pune Warriors in a Indian Premier League match at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, here on Sunday.

The last time the two sides met in Pune on April 11, the Royals were comfortably beaten by seven wickets with Warriors skipper Aaron Finch hitting a classy half-century while chasing a 146-run target.

But since then, Pune’s campaign has gone completely haywire as they find themselves currently at the bottom of the points table with just two wins from 11 matches played so far.

Desperate to make amends, Pune face an uphill task to tame the Royals in their own den, which has been a happy hunting ground for them.

The Royals have an unblemished home record this season. But they have looked a pale shadow of themselves in away matches, the most recent being the eight-wicket thrashing at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Friday night.    
Despite the loss, the Royals have maintained their hold on the third spot on the points table.

The Royals can seek solace from the fact that they have converted their home venue into a fortress where they had defeated the likes of mighty Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The Royals used their knowledge about the pitch and weather condition to perfection and that will give them the confidence to put behind their Friday night defeat and regroup themselves quickly to make the final surge towards securing a play-off berth.
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and 18-year-old Kerala lad Sanju Samson have been the positives for Rajasthan.

Watson has so far amassed 349 runs from eight games while Samson, whose 63 off 41 balls while chasing 172 against RCB, has caught the attention of many rival camps. For skipper Rahul Dravid, it would be important to see how his men put behind the KKR defeat and come out strongly on home turf on Sunday.

Star watch

* Shane Watson: The Australian is a destructive force upfront with the bat, tearing bowlers apart with a bevy of big shots. Watson will have to give Royals some steam against Warriors if they are to take revenge for their defeat to Pune some days back.

* Robin Uthappa: Uthappa is central to Pune Warriors’ scheme of things. The Kodava lad also brings added value as a wicket-keeper. Though incosistent this season, Uthappa showed his might against RCB with a quick fifty. Pune will be hoping for an encore.

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