Cricket

IPL Match Preview: Rajasthan Royals v/s Royal Challengers Bangalore

Written by bms

Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Head-to-head record:

Played: 19
RR won: 9
RCB won: 8
No result: 1

The “Royal” teams of the Indian Premier League have one of the most intriguing and well-balanced rivalries going around. Even though Rajasthan Royals have played two less seasons compared to RCB, their head-to-head record remains one of the rare instances in which the wins are almost evenly matched. And rightly so. Between the two teams, they have won only 1 IPL title (2008, RR). And on paper and by philosophy, the two teams are as different as chalk and cheese. One depends on a collective effort of the whole over the parts, while the other has traditionally depended on individual brilliance and proven match-winners. What’s more, both these teams are still looking for their first win of the IPL 2019 season well into the second week. This might just be a fine game to catch live at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, a ground where the Royals have traditionally been a tough team to beat.

Home team
(book your IPL tickets to RR games here)

Captain: Ajinkya Rahane
IPL titles: 1

IPL 2019 record
Played: 3
Lost: 3

It hasn’t been the rosiest of starts for last season’s play-off contenders. The Royals aren’t exactly a weak team; they have played well in all 3 games, but have been undone by collapses and inconsistent bowling. Not to mention the fact that they have had to play two very strong IPL teams in their first 3 games – SRH and CSK. The Mankading incident derailed their chase against KXIP in their season opener, and it has been no coincidence that they lost the next two when their destructor-in-chief Jos Buttler failed to reach double figures. On the brighter side, Rahane and Ben Stokes have shown some form, but the Indian fast bowling line-up of Unadkat and Kulkarni were lacking against MS Dhoni’s firepower in the CSK game. They had CSK at 27-3, and even needed 12 runs off the last Dwayne Bravo over, putting themselves in positions to win repeatedly. Their best chance will be at home today against Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore – the only other winless team in the league so far. Sanju Samson’s form is crucial to their chances.

Predicted XI:
Rahane, Buttler, Samson, Smith, Tripathi, Strokes, Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Aaron/Kulkarni

Away Team
Captain: Virat Kohli
IPL titles: 0

IPL 2019 record:
Played 3
Lost 3

Unlike the Royals, the only game out of three that RCB stood a chance it was against the Mumbai Indians, in which a last-ball umpiring gaffe may have cost them the match. One could understand Kohli’s rage there – a win is rare for RCB ever since the end of the 2017 season, and he will take what he gets. RCB were demolished by CSK in the first game and SRH in the third, and like RR, they have been unlucky to face the two best teams of the IPL in their first 3 matches. They might fancy their chances against RR, and might mess with their team combination a bit after the SRH game. Aussies Nathan Coulter Nile and Marcus Stoinis join the RCB team after beating Pakistan, and one would imagine Kohli drafting them immediately into his line-up because of their high confidence. Expect RR to play Ish Sodhi to exploit AB de Villiers’ weakness against off-spin.

Predicted XI:
Stoinis, Patel, Kohli, ABD, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Barman, Nathan Coulter Nile, Umesh Yadav, Chahal, Siraj

Prediction:
Rajasthan Royals to win their first IPL game this season. RCB to continue their plunge towards the bottom of the table.

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bms

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