Preview: RR vs RCB
Three aspects to look at for today's game. Your thoughts?
The ITC Rajputana has been warming up quietly to the game, with most players staying in for the day with the exception of the Australians from both sides, who were chilling by the pool in the afternoon.
Deliberate or not, the missing crown from the logo of RCB in the rangoli put up in the hotel lobby is a subtle sign of whose fortress it is. Even as Anil Kumble and Shane Warne look at the pitch and have a chat, the crowd begins to swell.
Here's what I reckon will play a crucial role in the outcome of today's match.
The battle of the openers
Setting up the stage for beefy middle orders are Naman Ojha and Michael Lumb (a mate of Pietersen from Hampshire) who've plundered 621 runs together at a strike rate of 140, whereas Manish Pandey and Jacques Kallis have managed 742 runs at just 118 runs/100 balls.
Sure, Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa have proved saviours, but I'd like to believe that the tone of this game will be set in the powerplay, especially for RCB.
Yes, it is the headline Ross Taylor hates most, but I can see why it's popular. Returning to a normal sized ground with pace bowling to his liking, it's the perfect stage for "RCB's No.1 explosive batsman", as mentioned by Ray Jennings, to come good. We'd love to see a repeat of the innings against the Knight Riders from IPL-2, but beware of Warnie.
The lame flower patterns woven into the grass
Seriously, what were they thinking? Half the patterns criss cross with the 30 yard circle. Look out for plenty of no-ball calls with less than four fielders in the ring. Not.