Tarot reader Shruti Chopra looks into her cards to give CricketCountry.com readers insights into what lies ahead in the IPL matches. In the below piece, she dwells into the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals game - the first of the two IPL matches on Sunday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Bangalore are looking unclear and under confident. They're still working on how to bring better balance in their game. In fact, they're working on too many ideas which may further complicate things. The Seven of Pentacles does hint that they are looking to make some big runs and the Eight of Wands shows their high energy on the field. They have the right components, but its putting them together that's becoming a struggle for them – a struggle they should free themselves today.
Daniel Vettori is not looking comfortable - neither as a captain nor as a bowler. Rather than being the support system, or the one implementing the plans, Vettori is finding it hard to concentrate on both of his responsibilities. Therefore, he is constantly looking at his players to work things out for themselves, which they will have the capability to do.
Chris Gayle will have a tentative start, but he will realise this and would steady himself. He would try his best to build on his innings before he takes off.
Virat Kohli may come out with a point to prove, and as the High Priestess explains – he will challenge his potential and listen to his instincts. He should be able to build a strong innings too.
Cheteshwar Pujara will be well planned, well balanced and be ready to be on top of his game.
Zaheer Khan will show his hunger to achieve results and won't shy away from the hard work needed for it. He will bowl well in tandem.
AB de Villiers will have many plans, and may be working very closely with the captain to keep the team on track. He will show his maturity and ability to change gears when needed.
Muttiah Muralitharan may have that one weak over, otherwise, he will be very strong and will bowl well.
Like Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals too will be trying to figure out the right team balance. They too will feel under confident and may find it hard to make concrete strategies. Rajasthan will approach this game with the thought of re-starting their campaign in this tournament. This fresh approach is good, but they may not be able to implement this easily. The Nine of Wands urges then to eliminate any fear and concentrate on being more active on the field, as this might just be their weakness today.
Captain Rahul Dravid will be strong and in control. His team will look to him for this stability. Batsman Dravid may not look so comfortable. Instead he may find that he expected to do a lot more than might be possible. He will show signs of playing a strong and wise innings, but may not be able to sustain this for too long.
Ajinkya Rahane has taken in all his experiences and will work hard on applying them. He will grow stronger and the team would look to him for results – a responsibility he would happily take on.
Ashok Menaria too will be ready to fight for the team's cause. He will show glimpses of crafting a good innings, but he may not receive the right support to see him through.
Owais Shah should grab on to this opportunity to prove himself, but he won't be able to get to this stage unless he doesn't get past his initial uncertainty.
Brad Hodge will work hard to make runs and to achieve a hold on his innings, which may be strong initially but he may find this hard to sustain.
Brad Hogg is feeling a little discontent and desires to make amends by dominating through his bowling.
Amit Singh is looking better planned and is therefore looking ready to put in the hard work. He will show his determination right to the end of the game.
Who has the advantage?
Another tough one, since both teams aren't feeling strong. They're both questioning their strategies and player combinations. Bangalore, may again have the tendency to get too comfortable in the last five overs of the match, but at the same time, they are more aware of their mistakes. Whereas Rajasthan have a strong captain behind them. I would feel that Bangalore have advantage because they show a stronger desire to win.
(London-born Shruti Chopra was introduced to cricket by her two older brothers. She spent some of her childhood time in Delhi and became an Indian cricket fan. She has remained an unflinching and passionate Indian cricket fan even after moving back to London, setting 3.00 am alarms to watch India play Test matches. It was during the 2011 World Cup that she brought together her passion for cricket with her profession of Tarot Reading, looking at the cards in the hope of spotting an India win coming through - which it did! You can know more about Shruti via Facebook, Twitter and her website)