The Royal Challengers take on the Rajasthan Royals at the Chinnaswamy for the 11th match of the IPL. Both teams have won one and lost one match, but RCB won their last match at home. RR have some major issues they need to resolve. The DRS system helped them decisively in the last match, overshadowing their struggles with the bat.
The Bengaluru pitch promises to be conducive to batting once again, giving Royal Challengers Bangalore a huge advantage with their big names. McCullum, Kohli, de Villiers, and de Kock will thrive on this wicket, especially against an ordinary Rajasthan bowling attack. Can RR upset RCB, or will the home side dominate once again?
Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi, D'Arcy Short, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Heinrich Klaasen, Ish Sodhi.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manan Vohra, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee, Corey Anderson.
Where the teams stand
Sanju Samson has been a shining beacon of hope for Rajasthan this season with his scores this season. He had help from Rahane and Jos Buttler in the last match, but he was the lone warrior in the first one with 49 out of 125. D’ Arcy Short and Stokes have disappointed so far, the former throwing his wicket away by run outs in both matches. Stokes has perished after playing some good strokes, failing to sustain the hitting. He will enjoy batting on the Bengaluru wicket, and it might just be what he needs to get that big score for his team. D’ Arcy Short’s place in the side is in huge jeopardy though, especially with Klaasen on the bench. The big-hitter was excellent against India, and it will be tough to justify keeping him out of the game. Rajasthan do have the batsmen for a good pitch, but their inconsistency so far is a concern going into the game.
Their bowling attack is going to be another huge concern in the Chinnaswamy. Laughlin, Kulkarni, and Unadkat are simply not good enough to stop the RCB batting lineup. The Rajasthan bowlers have been expensive in both their games so far, just not expensive enough in the last one. Dhawal Kulkarni has perhaps fared the best, while Unadkat has been the most disappointing. Rajasthan must bowl first. No target is safe with this attack.
Fantasy Picks: Ben Stokes is always a reliable pick. Samson and Rahane are in good form as well, while Jos Buttler could be an X-factor based on his performance in the last game. The bowlers are all a risk, but Dhawal Kulkarni is the safest best amongst them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers easily have the most balanced side they have ever possessed, and it showed in the last game. Their attack restricted Punjab to 155, a below-par score at the Chinnaswamy. This thanks to some steamy bowling from Umesh Yadav, who took three wickets in one over to derail the Punjabi onslaught led by KL Rahul. Washington Sundar was economical and effective, taking 2 for 22. After a tough game against KKR, the youngster has bounced back strongly. Chris Woakes has been expensive in his two games so far, but he always manages to contribute with wickets somehow. All of these are good signs for RCB. Unfortunately, the batting holds some bad ones for them.
The last innings had two golden ducks from the RCB batting, an anomalous, but slightly concerning issue. One of them was Sarfaraz Khan, who struggled against KKR as well after returning from a long injury lay off. His place in the side is not the safest, especially with Manan Vohra waiting on the sidelines. Kohli has been slightly wasteful out in the middle, taking his time to settle in but getting himself out before he could get going. de Villiers has been simply superb, the protagonist of the RCB victory last game. Mandeep Singh has been a surprisingly efficient player down the order despite the “test-batsman” image he carries. Despite McCullum’s golden duck, his 40 odd against KKR is an encouraging sign. de Kock’s 45 from 34 means that the RCB batting lineup is in red-hot form except for one player, who might just be dropped. This team might just become the first to win a game batting first.
Fantasy Picks: One can easily have their pick from this batting lineup. McCullum, Kohli, and de Villiers are bound to be the most popular picks, while Umesh Yadav is in red-hot form too. Washington Sundar is another bowler who is capable of great things.
RCB win. With this batting order, it will be tough to lose at the Chinnaswamy unless they suffer a massive collapse.
Who comes out on top when the Rajasthan Royals host the Royal Challengers Bangalore? Let us know in the comments and poll below.