29 Apr 2019
Rajasthan Royals won their last home game against Sunrisers Hyderabad comfortably. That was their second win in a row, but they have to win 2 more games on the bounce. Our focus shifts to winning the two remaining away games, as we take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium. RCB had picked momentum in the last few games, but their chances of making it to the Playoffs ended with a loss in their last game. They will be looking to finish their final couple of games on a high, and will come as hard as we would over them. Powerplay of Numbers We have an edge over RCB when it comes to the head–to–head battle, winning 10 out of the 19 games in the Vivo IPL. We also have an upper hand, winning the last three encounters against the Royal Challengers. Our record at the Chinnaswamy is quite admirable, with a win percentage of 67. Our first victory in this season came against RCB, at home, and with our current momentum, we would love to complete the double and increase our chances to make it to the next stage. The M. Chinnaswamy has been known for a run-friendly venue. With short boundaries, even mishits can go the distance over here, and bowlers will have very little margins for error. We have a couple of big hitters in our line-up, and they will be looking to clear the fence on several occasions when they get their turns to bat. Dynamic Duels Shreyas Gopal vs AB de Villiers This is definitely one battle that everyone’s excited about! Shreyas Gopal has been a promising player for us and has always delivered at the right time picking crucial wickets. Everyone knows how dangerous a batsman AB de Villiers can be, but he hasn’t been at his best when it comes to facing Gopal. In 3 innings that they have played against each other, Gopal has picked him thrice and de Villiers has only scored 21 out of the 27 balls faced. Steve Smith vs Yuzvendra Chahal Our skipper has been a major asset to the team in the last few games, leading from the front. His unorthodox stance will come in handy with shorter boundaries. Yuzvendra Chahal has a lot of experience bowling on this surface, and has been a key performer for RCB. Although, he is yet to dismiss our skipper in the 7 innings that they have played against each other. Ajinkya Rahane vs Umesh Yadav – Playing on a ground with shorter boundaries and a quick outfield during the Powerplay overs is the best thing an opening batsman could ask for. Jinks knows this surface pretty well and would be looking to follow his pattern of playing lofted cover drives over the fielders to maximize the opportunities in the Powerplay. Umesh Yadav is really quick but may not be the most consistent with his accuracy. In the 12 innings that they have faced each other, Rahane has scored 90 runs at a strike rate of 136.4 while Umesh Yadav has only dismissed him twice. With two games to play and everything on the line, winning against RCB will help us get into a better position before we play our last game in Delhi. Our back-up options, especially Liam Livingstone, have been magnificent for us and have made their mark when it requires the most. We will look to click together as a team once again, and continue our winning streak. Halla Bol!