Delivering the best possible start with three trotting wins, a confident Royal Challengers Bangalore will be hoping to get the juggernaut rolling when he takes on the Rajasthan Royals in an IPL match on Thursday. The two sides have so far endured contrasting campaigns. RCB enters the game after three victories which boost morale. The team led by Virat Kohli edged out defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener before overtaking Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders to climb to the top of the points table.
In contrast, the Royals have only managed to win one of their three meetings. They lost to Chennai Super Kings in their previous game to move up to sixth place.
Sanju Samson and his men contemplate a second victory. The Royals struggled to behave like a cohesive hitting unit. While Samson led the team to a touching distance from victory with his sensational century against the Punjab Kings, it was the South African duo of David Miller and Chris Morris who secured a victory against the Delhi Capitals.
Against CSK, opener Jos Buttler looked dangerous but the other batsmen didn’t make any valuable contributions. For the old champions to do well, the team must click like a batting unit with Samson and the Englishman playing key roles.
The Royals bowling unit was disappointing to say the least, other than the game against the Delhi Capitals, bowlers fled lanes. Pacer Jaydev Unadkat shone against the side led by Rishabh Pant, registering an impressive 3/15 numbers, while youngster Chetan Sakariya showed promise.
In the absence of Jofra Archer, more will be expected from Chris Morris and Bangladeshi speedster Mustafizur Rahman. For RCB, Ab de Villiers and new recruit Glenn Maxwell were the standout players with Willow.
As the South African continues to deliver season after season, the Australian all-rounder is proving to be a valuable addition to the middle order. Kohli has had decent starts in a few games, but the talismanic skipper will be looking forward to playing a big round.
Young Devdutt Padikkal, who impressed everyone last season, also looks rusty and has yet to reach his full potential. After two failures, Rajat Patidar will also seek to be forgiven. RCB’s bowling department has been impressive with stimulators Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj posting a save rate of 5.75 and 5.81 respectively.
The former took the rabbit out of the hat with a five-wicket hit against MI while left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed (3/7) changed the match’s complexion to one against the Sunrisers.
In an interesting move, RCB only played three foreigners instead of four in the game against KKR. It will be interesting to see if they go for a similar game XI or join leg player Adam Zampa, stimulator Kane Richardson or experienced all-rounder Daniel Christian, who didn’t impress with the bat or the ball. , back in the team.
The match starts at 7:30 p.m.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Kane Richardson, Washington Sundar, Pavan Deshpande, Joshua Philippe, Shahbaz Ahamad, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell ,at Patidar, Rajin Baby, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Dan Christian, KS Bharat, Suyash Prabhudessai, Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel.
Royals of Rajasthan: Sanju Samson (c and wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh.
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