All-time meetings: Royal Challengers Bangalore W8, Rajasthan Royals W7, No result 1
THE TEAM NEWS
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Coach: Daniel Vettori
Captain: Virat Kohli
Royal Challengers Bangalore are coming off a hard fought victory against Kings XI Punjab after chasing down the target of 155 with the loss of just 6 wickets and once again the class of the top order shone through with this time Brendon McCullum failing and De Kock, Kohli and De Villiers setting up the victory.
It was an impressive bowing display from RCB, all bowlers took at least one wicket and bowled quite economically. Umesh Yadav was extremely impressive capturing 3/23 from four overs while Washington Sundar bounced back from a horror first game, capturing 2/22 from his four overs.
Expect a settled line-up from RCB as they look to make it two wins in a row. Sarfaraz Khan may be one to make way if Dan Vettori elects to make a change. The 20-year-old middle order batsmen has failed in his first two games scoring six against KKR and then falling first ball to Ravi Ashwin so big hitting New Zealand all-rounders Corey Anderson and Colin de Grandhomme could come into the reckoning.
Coach: Zubin Bharucha
Captain: Ajinkya Rahane
Rajasthan were lucky to get away with a rain-affected win against Delhi however they did greatly improve from match one. After being restricted to 125/9 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the batting order showed more fluency in their innings posting 153/5 from 17.5 overs against Delhi.
Although this match saw a much better batting performance, there is still plenty of upside for Rajasthan with high profile recruits D’Arcy Short and Ben Stokes both failing with the bat. D’Arcy Short was been run out for the second game in a row and will be desperate to spend some time at the crease.
It would be unfair to judge the Rajasthan bowling performance too harshly, needing to restrict Delhi to 71 runs from six overs. In the end Delhi could only reach 60 and Rajasthan can walk away happy with their bowlers holding their nerve.
Rajasthan are seemingly on the up and the challenge for the Royals will to become more consistent. The same could be said for RCB who will be keen to register another win early in the tournament. Rajasthan do have a batting line-up that can cause some issues for any team in the competition and if D’Arcy Short can spend some time in the middle expect Rajasthan to make this a tough match for RCB. The pure class at the top of the order for RCB ensures a tough match for opposition bowlers so Rajasthan will need to get through the four superstars at the top before they can do too much damage. Although this match may be closer than some anticipate, expect the class and experience of Royal Challengers Bangalore to secure victory.