02 Apr 2019
Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore will take the field in Jaipur in search of their first victory of Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. Both teams have lost their first three games, and will be very keen to get off the mark. The Royals had the last two games under control for a good part of the games, but the opposition edged past them during some of the smaller moments of the game. RCB, on the other hand, have been outplayed on two occasions, while they came agonisingly close against Mumbai Indians in Bengaluru. Let’s deep dive into the nuances of our second home game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, in Jaipur. Powerplay of Numbers: Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore are neck-to-neck against each other in their overall meetings. We have won 9 games, while RCB have won 8. We will be looking to extend the lead by one more game tomorrow. Last year, we won both our away and home matches against RCB. However, in Jaipur it is even-stevens between the two teams, with both winning 3 games each. The Challengers will find the conditions a bit different at the SMS as opposed to their home-ground, the M. Chinnaswamy stadium. In Jaipur, the distance to the boundary from the centre is a fair bit on one side, whereas the Bengaluru ground is quite small. Our first game at the SMS saw a two-paced track. However, Jos Buttler gave us the indication that a batsman could play his shots freely against the new ball. The top order, thus becomes relatively important in conditions at our home-ground. The last time we played RCB here, Shreyas Gopal was in on the wickets and grabbed the Man of the Match award. Before that game, we last played RCB here in 2013. Dynamic Duels: Rahul Tripathi vs Umesh Yadav Tripathi is a batsman who can bat anywhere in a team. He can open, he can come in when the team needs a steadying hand, and can also give it a go to finish an innings. In our last game, he took up the role of a partnership builder and pretty much bailed us out of trouble. This time around watch out for when he faces RCB’s chief quick, Umesh Yadav. Against Yadav, Tripathi has hammered 50 runs off just 22 balls, going at a mammoth strike rate of 227. This should be one battle that could get the adrenalin rising. Shreyas Gopal vs AB de Villiers You say AB de Villiers is RCB’s most dangerous batsman? We say, Sheyas Gopal has an excellent record against ABD. Gopal has got the danger man out twice in as many meetings. Moreover, he has conceded only 15 runs off 21 balls to go with the wickets. An attacking leggie against an innovative batsman makes for a wonderful battle on the field. Dhawal Kulkarni vs Virat Kohli Here’s another one of our weapons against RCB’s top gun. Dhawal Kulkarni has managed to dismiss Virat Kohli four times, yes four times. Kohli has managed to go after our right-arm quick at a strike rate of 128, but DK’s bag of tricks has proven to be a test for Kohli. Won’t we want DK to get VK out for a fifth time during our game in Jaipur! It is not too often to see our team in this position, but we have got it in ourselves to stand tall as a team, and fight against all odds. We pride ourselves on winning from anywhere. We came inches within winning our game in Chennai, and this time the boys will be keen to get over the line to fetch us the first points in the table. Halla Bol!