It has been a long wait for teams and fans. The Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) fixtures weren’t announced in its entirety this season. With the general elections being held in April-May, only a part of the fixtures were released in February. The release had four matches for Rajasthan Royals. However, the dates for the general elections were declared by the government a few days ago, and we now have the fixtures for the entire league stage of the Vivo IPL in place. Let’s run you through our team’s journey which begins on 25th March and goes on till our last game of the league phase on 4th May. Rajasthan Royals play their first game of Vivo IPL 2019 at the fortress – Sawai Mansingh Stadium on 25th March. Our first opponents are Kings XI Punjab, against who we have a 100 percent win record at the venue. We defended 158 against the Kings at home last season, and the lads will be looking forward to get off to a winning start this year. We then move into three consecutive games in the space of 5 days; the first two being away games. We travel to the city of Nizams, Hyderabad, for our second game of the season on 29th March. It was against Sunrisers Hyderabad that we got our campaign underway at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium last season. We travel further south to Chennai to play our third game against defending champions, Chennai Super Kings on 31st March. The team in yellow have got their home ground back, after having to play most of their home games in Pune last season. The Chepauk will be an electrifying experience for the Rajasthan Royals boys. As we move into April, the team enjoys a string of three back-to-back home games in Jaipur. On 2nd April, we take on Royal Challengers Bangalore who come to Jaipur under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. We managed to keep their dangerous batting line-up quiet on our turf last season. Our boys then get a four-day gap before our next home game, against Kolkata Knight Riders on 7th April. KKR had breached our fortress last season, and the boys will have their guards up this time around. Our third consecutive home game, on 11th April features the defending champions yet again, for our second meeting of the season. Last year, the Rajasthan Royals players had donned pink in support of cancer victims and it was quite a memorable game of cricket for everyone at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. This contest promises to be equally exciting, if not more. We then pack our bags and fly out to the bustling city of Mumbai where we meet the hosts, Mumbai Indians for a 4 PM game on 13th April. The Wankhede is one of the iconic venues in India, and Jos Buttler gave us the privilege of watching a stunning innings last time around. Having played with our opponents in the past, he could well be the man to look out for during this encounter. Our journey turns northwards when we face off against Kings XI Punjab, in Mohali on 16th April. Last year, KXIP played some of their home games in Indore, and we didn’t have a great outing at the venue. Seven games into the season, this will be the beginning of the second half of the league stage for us, when many teams begin to hustle for a spot in the Playoffs. Come 20th April, we fly back home to welcome Mumbai Indians at the SMS. An enthralling performance by Krishnappa Gowtham took us to a memorable victory over MI at our fortress last time round. The memory is still fresh in our minds and the boys will take immense inspiration from that match. Watch out for another scintillating performance by our boys. Two days after hosting MI, it’s Delhi Capitals’ turn to visit the SMS. Our first win from last season came against this franchise, which was then known as Delhi Daredevils. In what was a truncated game, due to rain, we won on the D/L method. Hopefully, there won’t be any rain around this time. It’s Kolkata calling for the Rajasthan Royals, as the boys ready themselves to face Kolkata Knight Riders on 25th April. The majestic Eden Gardens can host up to 70,000 fans, and the atmosphere here promises to be very vibrant. The boys will love to win this game handsomely with just three games remaining in the league stage. Our last home game of the 2019 season on 27th April brings us to Jaipur to face Sunrisers Hyderabad. Known for their strong bowling attack, the battle between bat and ball can get quite intense between the two teams. Our final two games are away games, beginning with our match against RCB in Bengaluru on 30th April. The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium has traditionally been known to be high-scoring. Watch out for a few of our batsmen sending the ball deep into the stands and beyond at this venue. We close the league stage with an encounter against Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla, another venue our batsmen will relish. However, bowlers, spinners In particular, have known to enjoy success here as well. Some of our international players will be going away towards the end of the season to prepare for the ICC World Cup. They will look to go berserk while they are with the team, as we look to win as many games as possible during the league stage. The stage is set and we know who we play, and when with the release of the Vivo IPL fixtures. With an exciting bunch of players in the Rajasthan Royals set-up, we look forward to have an amazing league stage and go storming into the Playoffs.
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