Dravid's ability to handle pressure should help Rajasthan overcome KKR

Rahul Dravid may just hold himself back more than necessary © PTI

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 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals game – the only IPL match on Friday.



Kolkata Knight Riders


The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), despite their last win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), are looking a little under confident. The Nine of Wands hints on many apprehensions the team is carrying, but the card advises to lose those fears and just go for it. The problem is, they may not be able to sustain a momentum even if they do push themselves. Their game may seem quite patchy at times, yet their desire to work hard and get out of this phase will be quite obvious. They won’t give up that easily.


Gautam Gambhir is a strong player and is showing glimpses of steadiness in his batting, yet he is looking very dependent on a batting partner to support him in his innings. He may not be able to get a good partnership going as he’s expecting support, rather than supporting the other player. If Gambhir can change this thought of his, he would have good opportunities to fire. As a captain there are a number of weaknesses, of which the most important is some wayward decision making.


Key players


Lakshmipathy Balaji would lay strong foundation with his bowling and will then be able to direct his aggression well to get results.


Manoj Tiwary should have a good start. He will look positive, but then there may just be this dip in his batting and would come under pressure which would be too much for him to manage.


Jacques Kallis, despite his steady performances, is mentally not being able to give 100%. He will be faced with taking on more responsibilities than he can handle, but he will continue to be steady. However, he may not be able to push his performance to the next level.


If played, Brendon McCullum has great potential to score freely, but, as the Page of Swords directs, he will need to remain focused on his team goal.


Shakib Al Hasan has the Wheel of Fortune and the Three of Cups representing his ability to succeed and live up to some of his expectations.


Yusuf Pathan will keep working hard on every area of his play. He has grown wiser and will try his best to implement all that he has learnt with success coming his way.


Ryan ten Doeschate is another strong player, but will need someone to keep pushing him – If he can do the pushing himself, then that would be better, since his focus could get wayward.


Brett Lee will be very strong and should be able to open up opportunities for the team.


Rajasthan Royals


Rajasthan have worked on their plans against KKR, and are raring to score some runs. The Six of Cups, in combination with the Four of Wands, emphasises how well they have analysed their last match against Mumbai and are ready to work on all that went wrong and build on what went right. They have become lot wiser from this experience and are ready to push themselves to a win through their game plans.


Rahul Dravid, as a batsman, may just hold himself back more than necessary. This could be a major factor in him not firing as strongly as he should. If he can eliminate from his mind the last outing against Mumbai, he will then be able to relax. Otherwise this may not be a comfortable ride. As a captain, Dravid is going to be strong in implementing his plans and getting results. As the Wheel of Fortune suggests, he should be on top of his captaincy.


Key players


Ajinkya Rahane will be an active strong member, ready to work hard and be a contributing factor to the team’s success.


Ashok Menaria would have a stop-start innings. One minute it will seem as if he is playing very well, and then there could be a dip.


Owais Shah would be feeling the pinch of not seeing his team through in the last game. He will need to shrug off this feeling quickly and be ready to play with full command, as he is supported by the Magician and the Empress.


Kevon Cooper is really enjoying his game and will just continue to grow in this match too. He should put up an intelligent fight and will therefore gain more respect through this match.


Brad Hogg should feel slightly under pressure during the match, but he will find that easy to overcome and through this steady and consistent performance would be able to stamp his authority further.


Amit Singh would play well in tandem with his team and in bowling partnerships.


Siddharth Trivedi would put up a mature performance – ready to take on a battle and win. He would grow in this game through the confidence his team will put in him.


Who has the advantage?


Rajasthan seem to be the team holding the advantage. The main reason would be their strong captain and ability to handle the pressure better, as well as a better collective effort in the match.


(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 FacebookTwitter and her website)