CL T20 2013: Buoyant Rajasthan Royals eager to continue their winning streak
Jaipur: A buoyant Rajasthan Royals will look to continue their winning streak and inch closer to a place in the semifinal when they take on lowly Perth Scorchers in a Group `A` match of the Champions league Twenty20 here on Sunday.
The hosts have been impressive here right through the IPL and have notched up two successive victories against the formidable Mumbai Indians and the Highveld Lions in the to top the group with eight points.
A depleted Perth Scorchers are, however, languishing at the bottom with two points which they bagged by virtue of their washed out match in Ahmadabad.
The hosts are on a roll and have won 10 consecutive matches here, eight in the IPL-6 and two in the ongoing event.
Thanks to coach Paddy Upton and skipper Rahul Dravid, they have been able to put the spot-fixing scandal behind them and have emerged as a strongly-knit and determined side.
The conditions here make them even stronger as they have the options to meet the demands of the situation. The Jaipur wicket, acclaimed by many as one of the best cricketing pitches, has been their happy hunting ground.
They have a strong batting line-up with a solid opening pair in Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Rahul Dravid. Lower down, the likes of Shane Watson, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge have been able to bail them out of tight situations with their all-round abilities.
Local-lad Ashok Menaria and Kevon Cooper have come good with both the bat and ball and veteran Pravin Tambe has shown that RR`s spin department is also up to the mark apart from a pace battery consisting of James Faulkner, Shaun Tait and Watson.
Australian quickie Tait is hoping to recover from his hamstring injury and be available for selection.
On the other hand, Perth Scorchers are here without some key players and have not been able to pose any real challenge. They were beaten by Otago volts by 62 runs despite a fine half century by Hilton Cartwright who had scored a fine 68 off 53 balls.
The visitors have some experience in skipper Simon Katich and Adam Voges besides a few youngsters who are keen to learn.
Their bowling Led by Joel Paris was hit for 242 by Otago and they have a tough task at hand of stopping the host batsmen who would be looking to prepare for tougher battles ahead.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (capt), Stuart Binny, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Brad Hodge, Vikramjeet Malik, Ashok Menaria, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Rahul Shukla, Shaun Tait, Pravin Tambe, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Dishant Yagnik.
Perth Scorchers: Simon Katich (c), Michael Beer, Hilton Cartwright, Liam Davis, Joe Mennie, Joel Paris, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Burt Cockley, Brad Hogg, Marcus North, Tom Triffitt (wk), Adam Voges.