Brittle batting to be Kolkata’s downfall against Rajasthan

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Rajasthan Royals’ battle plan for their game against the Kolkata Knight Riders must have written itself after seeing the last batting effort from Gautam Gambhir’s side.

The outing against Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2014’s 15th match was the first time that both Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey failed with the willow and as a result KKR slumped to 109 all out in a chase of 133.

One or both of Kallis and Pandey – the franchise’s leading two batsmen – had scored 40 or more in the preceding three KKR matches, helping their side to totals of 150 or more and it was telling that nobody else was able to drive the scoreboard in their first combined failure against Kings XI.

Gambhir himself has just one run in four innings this term and having slid down to number three in the order, presents the Royals a palpable chance of having the Knight Riders two down for not many should they bag an early wicket.

While Gambhir struggles, Kallis continues to show his class despite recently retiring from international cricket. He’ll need to take on extra run-scoring responsibility against a bristling bowling unit.

With Shane Watson’s Royals skittling the dominant batting of Royal Challengers Bangalore for just 70 last time out, it’s clear their strengths lie with the ball and it’s their price that should be taken to prevail over what’s available on KKR’s struggling batters seeing them over the line.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.