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HomeCricketIPL 53rd Match Preview: Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore

IPL 53rd Match Preview: Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

RR vs RCB Preview IPL 2018 Cricket Blog

To anyone who knows me personally, here’s a message. Don’t ask me to go out tonight, as there are two games I’ll be glued to the TV to watch, the perfect way to spend a cold Sydney night!

Both games have significant impact on which teams will end up in the playoffs, and I can’t wait.

First up to the stage are RR and RCB, two teams who were on the verge of elimination at certain stages throughout the tournament. Now, thanks to some good form over the last couple of weeks, they enter their final game with a shot at the playoffs. The winner stays alive, whereas the loser is gone. It’s a knock out match, before the playoffs, and promises to be a beauty.

Rajasthan Royals will need to find a way to win without Jos Buttler, who has headed back to England to prepare for the Test series against Pakistan. Buttler’s inclusion in England’s Test side surprised many, but has hurt RR significantly, as he has almost single-handedly got them close to a playoffs berth. Ben Stokes has also departed, but his contribution was nowhere near justification for the money RR spent on him, and now the Royals desperately need the others to step up.

Royal Challengers Bangalore have recently shown the form that many of their optimists (including myself) thought they could show from the very start. The likes of Tim Southee and Moeen Ali have added excellent balance to their side, in conjunction with the wonderful AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. RCB are in a situation where they can still progress even if MI win tomorrow, which makes for compelling viewing. RCB have done brilliantly to get into this situation thanks to three straight wins, but will they thrive at the final group stage hurdle, or choke?

Key to a Rajasthan Royals win

With the loss of Jos Buttler, it’s obvious the onus is on the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson to challenge the RCB bowlers. However, at the same time, there is significant responsibility on the bowlers to dismantle the RCB batting line up. If they are able to achieve this, they can defend even a subpar total or significantly reduce the pressure on the batsmen ahead of the chase.
Ish Sodhi has been a good in IPL 2018, and he should play in my opinion. If he, in conjunction with the likes of Jofra Archer and Jaydev Unadkat, can put in a collaborative bowling performance, RR are a good chance of toppling RCB. Of course, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are two key wickets, but if RR can also keep the likes of Parthiv Patel and Moeen Ali quiet, I like their chances in this game.
Sanju Samson IPL 2018 RR Cricket Blog
Sanju Samson was superb in the previous meeting v RCB

Key to a Royal Challengers Bangalore win

RCB survived the Kane Williamson storm two nights ago in a deserved victory against SRH. They look like a team that could be a very dangerous prospect if they make the playoffs, but it is vital they don’t think too far ahead.
In Jos Buttler’s absence, if RCB go out onto the field and just expect to dismiss RR cheaply, they have another thing coming. Remember, Sanju Samson smashed RCB all over the M Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier in the season, so RCB’s good bowling efforts in the powerplay and middle overs needs to continue. How well RCB can execute at the death, mainly thanks to Tim Southee, will also be key. 
In addition, if the batting can fire, one feels they have too many runs for RR to contend with. However, this starts with mindset – will RCB stand up or crumble in a high pressure situation?
AB de Villiers IPL 2018 RCB Cricket Blog
AB de Villiers continues to amaze us all

Predicted teams

RR are facing a few conundrums in terms of their team selection. Do they play four overseas players? Do they go with Shreyas Gopal or Ish Sodhi? Or do they go with both, with Binny to miss out? Much to ponder.
Rajasthan Royals possible XI: 1. Rahul Tripathi, 2. D’Arcy Short, 3. Ajinkya Rahane (c), 4. Sanju Samson, 5. Heinrich Klaasen, 6. Stuart Binny, 7. K Gowtham, 8. Ish Sodhi/Shreyas Gopal, 9. Jofra Archer, 10. Jaydev Unadkat, 11. Anureet Singh
For RCB, I think they will go with the same line up as they did v SRH, and back their bowling attack to do well on what is expected to be a slowish track at the Sawai Masingh Stadium.
Royal Challengers Bangalore possible XI: 1. Parthiv Patel (wk), 2. Virat Kohli (c), 3. AB de Villiers, 4. Moeen Ali, 5. Sarafraz Khan, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Mandeep Singh, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Umesh Yadav, 10. Mohammed Siraj, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Stats and Facts:

  • Head-to-Head: Matches 17, RR 8, RCB 8, No result 1
  • RR lost all ten wickets for 82 to crumble to 142 all out v KKR. 
  • Virat Kohli v spin in IPL 2018: 13 innings, seven dismissals (SR 118.18). At Jaipur, he has 104 runs in five innings with a top score of 39*. Time for VK to step up big time here.
  • In RR’s last six matches, Jos Buttler contributed 45.24% of their runs.
  • RCB have taken the most wickets in the powerplay of any team (24). If they can keep this going, they will push RR significantly on the back foot.

Prediction

How confident can one be about RR’s chances with Jos Buttler gone? Their fans will be hoping that his absence will spur the others to fire, but it’s not a given against an RCB team in good form.
With RR’s key player gone, and RCB in good touch, I will go with RCB to win and get into the top four before KKR’s match with SRH tonight. All to play for.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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