Rajasthan Royals will be desperate for a win here, and need to play freely with no inhibition. Questions are being asked of Steve Smith, not just his captaincy but his place in the side! Sanju Samson, after a brilliant start to the IPL, has fallen off the rails showing exactly why he has not played consistently for India despite having an abundance of talent.
Rajasthan built a team which has extreme disparity in the quality and experience between their overseas contingent and their Indian players. But Jofra Archer is the only one among the foreigners who can walk with his head held high.
Royal Challengers Bangalore are playing their fourth game in eight days, and it is commendable that AB de Villiers has been able to keep wicket throughout. Rajasthan do have two leg spinners in Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia so will fans of Mr. 360 have to wait till RCB loses four wickets to watch him bat? Fear not, there is no way de Villiers is going to bat at anywhere other than number 4 again this season.
RCB won by 8 wickets
Yuzvendra Chahal had an outstanding game and with the help of the rest of the bowlers, restricted Rajasthan to 154. In response, Devdutt Padikkal scored his second half century of the IPL, but the biggest talking point was skipper Virat Kohli playing himself back into form. Mahipal Lomror impressed with the bat, but was surprisingly given only one game after that.
RCB played an extra bowler in their previous match at Sharjah, but Mohammed Siraj didn’t have a great night. Gurkeerat Singh Mann could be recalled to the eleven even though he hasn’t got much of an opportunity to shine in the few games that he has played.
What is Rajasthan’s best eleven?
Rajasthan’s constant shuffling have done them no good, and we could see some more of it today. Will the Royals continue with Ben Stokes as the opener experiment? Or will they go back to the original Smith and Samson duo at two and three, and play the mercurial allrounder at four? There is also the question of their middle order – the veteran Robin Uthappa or the youngster Lomror. A team that has not figured out its best eleven after eight games has no one to blame but themselves.
Washington Sundar will be back in the role that he has found so much success this season – bowling in the powerplay. If Stokes opens, it will be an added advantage to Sundar. He will also favour himself to get the better of Jos Buttler at the other end. It will be interesting to see how the Royals try to cope with the wily offspinner. Could they opt to play Uthappa as the opener alongside Buttler?
RR probable playing 11 – 1 Jos Buttler (wk), 2 Ben Stokes, 3 Steve Smith (capt), 4 Sanju Samson, 5 Robin Uthappa, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Shreyas Gopal, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Kartik Tyagi
RCB probable playing 11 – 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Devdutt Padikkal, 3 Virat kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 Gurkeerat Singh Mann, 6 Washington Sundar, 7 Shivam Dube, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Navdeep Saini, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
Bangalore will be looking to ensure that they do not spiral downward after their loss against Punjab. Look for them to revert to their usual batting and bowling order – that would mean de Villiers coming in at two down, and Sundar bowling in the powerplay. Archer has been outstanding but needs the support from his fellow pacers, especially Jaydev Unadkat. Bangalore is the clear favourite going into the game, but you never know when you are going to get a Tewatia special.