Here are the key reasons for Rajasthan Royals’ failure in CLT20 Final :
Playing away from home:
Rajasthan Royals got a golden chance of playing all their group-stage matches at their fortress of Jaipur. The Royals army didn’t lead any visiting team to snatch even a single match at this venue. After clinching victory in all their group-stage matches at Jaipur, the team got another outstanding chance of playing the semi-final against one of the favorites Chennai Super Kings at their home soil – Jaipur only.
But at the same time, the team was so acclimatized with the comfort of playing at Jaipur that in the CLT20 Final encounter, they were unable to adapt to the prevailing conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi and lost to the IPL 2013 champions – Mumbai Indians by a margin of 33 runs.
Brad Hodge’s injury:
Rajasthan Royals dealt a severe blow when Brad Hodge injured his knee after his collision with Shane Watson in the final over of the first semi-final match against Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur. Consequently, this most experienced T20 player in the world had to miss the crucial final against the IPL 2013 champions – Mumbai Indians.
Hodge displayed his importance in the middle order of Rajasthan Royals’ batting line-up after his match winning knocks against the Highveldt Lions and Otago Volts in the group stage matches. He could have served as a perfect finisher when Royals required 48 runs off 24 balls in the CLT20 final. Though Kushal Perera from Sri-Lanka was called as his replacement but the left-hander’s short inning of 8 runs from 4 balls in opening wasn’t enough for the Royals.
Too much dependency on Ajinkya Rahane:
Ajinkya Rahane displayed his career best performance in this edition of CLT20 after scoring 4 consecutive half-century knocks of 62, 52*, 70 and 65. But on the other side, his opening partner and Royals torchbearer Rahul Dravid, Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson failed to support him on the other end. Though Sanju Samson backed him well with his blistering 60 off 33 balls but that was not enough to take Royals past the score of 202 by Mumbai Indians. Even Stuart Binny had a decent outing with the bat and bowl in his first two matches but the all-rounder didn’t perform as per the expectations of his captain in the later matches.
Lack of strike bowlers:
The bowling attack of Rajasthan Royals relied too much on the shoulders of 41 year old Pravin Tambe. Tambe performed more than the expectation everytime whenever he was given the bowl and consequently won the Golden wicket award with 12 wickets to his account. The team really lacked the availability of an effective pace-bowler who could have held the situations in the death overs. The team leaked 98 runs off the last 6 overs of the Mumbai innings which changed the result of the match.
Bowlers like James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, and Shane Watson went for too many runs in the final phase of Rajasthan’s bowling. This all-rounder trio had the bowling economy of 7.45, 8.78 and 8.20 respectively at the end of CLT20 whereas Pravin Tambe bowled with a brilliant economy of 4.10 in this T20 tournament. Even the Jharkhand boy – Rahul Shukla looked decent till the semi-final but the pacer went for 49 runs in his 4 overs in the CLT20 Final.