After a disappointing defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday, Rajasthan Royals are all set to take the stage against Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 29, in Dubai. It’s a big game as we’ll need to win all our remaining games to get to 16 points which would guarantee qualification. Skipper Sanju Samson scored a brilliant 57-ball 82 against Hyderabad, only to see the team lose by 7 wickets in the end. However, despite consecutive setbacks, RR are still placed 6th in the table above Mumbai Indians and Kane Williamson’s team.

Previous Meeting:

Our previous meeting with RCB, which was in April during the first half of IPL 2021, is definitely one to forget for all of us. After a forgettable top-order collapse, a middle-order revival powered by Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia helped us post a total of 177/9. However, it wasn’t enough as RCB openers Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli were in ominous touch on the night, and coasted home in under 17 overs, with an unbeaten opening partnership.

Key Stats

Overall H2H Record: Played - 24, RR - 10, RCB-11, NR- 2

Form Guide against RCB: LLLWW (completed games)

Overall Form Guide: LLWWL

From our current squad, Sanju Samson has scored the most runs (241) in all RR vs RCB clashes combined. He also has a high score of 92* against Kohli’s side and his current form, which includes his 82 (57) vs SRH and 70* (53) vs DC, in the last two matches, is one of the biggest advantages for Rajasthan. He is 21 runs behind Shikhar Dhawan in the race for the Orange Cap, after the Delhi opener moved ahead once again against KKR.

Besides, RR are set to have a few milestones coming along the way, with Sanju Samson needing one run to complete 4500 T20 runs- a huge achievement in our captain’s career. Meanwhile, all-rounder Chris Morris is 5 sixes away from 100 sixes in T20s, while our new signing Glenn Phillips is 2 runs away from 4000 runs in T20 cricket, and Riyan Parag needs 99 more to complete 1000 IPL runs.

Overseas Combination

Against Hyderabad, Lewis and Morris returned from injury to replace David Miller and Tabraiz Shamsi. However, after two back-to-back defeats, anything is possible. We could look to bolster the bowling to counter their batting talent (which we had no answer for back in April). Alternatively, Glenn Phillips remains an option as well. The New Zealand all-rounder has been in excellent form across T20 leagues in the last year, and is known for his power hitting.

Players to watch

All eyes will be on the two captains, Sanju Samson and Virat Kohli, as RR and RCB lock horns at the Dubai International Stadium. Apart from our soldiers of fortune, the Royals who could be key during the match are opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, who has been in good form but hasn’t capitalised on it yet, and Chetan Sakariya, who has been back among the wickets.

In what would be the second RR vs RCB clash in Dubai, we will look to get our campaign back on track. It’s a big game against a big team – these are the moments we live for. Let’s go!

What do you think our overseas combination for Wednesday’s match against RCB should be? Send in your views on Twitter at @rajasthanroyals or to me @cricketpun_duh