Kolkata's batting is looking healthy as the top five batsman are collectively averaging 139 from two matches. Jacques Kallis with an average of 53.50, is the stand out with Manoj Tiwari also contributing consistently with 57.00. But captain Gautam Gambhir who has shuffled himself around the line-up and has not been very successful, with scores of 1 and 29, will want to find a footing, carve a niche for himself and hopefully lead from the front.
Rajastha's top-order is looking as solid as ever and in ominously good form to knock down any formidable total that comes their way. While Rahul Dravid is providing substance to the innings as opener with an average of 33.00, Johan Botha has proved terribly effective at No. 3, aggregating a phenomenal 106 with no average as yet. Then the likes of Ross Taylor in the middle have showed that they can come up with the few heaves required to win the match.
This is precisely the reason why Kolkata's bowling will have to be top-notch and a definite improvement over the side's previous two matches where it has let the opposition get away with scores of above 150. Off-spinner Iqbal Abdullah will have to do what he does best and given that he has taken 4 wickets from 2 matches at an economy rate of 6.25, he could well be the premier hunter against the Royals. But he will need good support from his fellow spinners in Yusuf Pathan and Rajat Bhatia.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan's bowling appears to be intimidating and restricting. The leg-spinner-medium-pace combination of Shane Warne and Siddharth Trivedi has accounted for 8 scalps between them from 2 matches at a joint economy rate of just about 4.50. Kolkata will do well to play them cautiously and go after the other bowlers.