05 Apr 2022
Phew! We hope everyone’s gotten their breath back. Because the Royals are ready to deliver some more breathtaking cricket, as we move on to Match No.3 with one mission - Halla Bol!
What a start it has been! From total domination against Sunrisers Hyderabad to clutch performances against Mumbai Indians, the Royals have well and truly arrived in IPL 2022.
So far, our team combination has clicked perfectly. The top order has been setting a strong foundation in the Powerplay and some brilliant hitting from the middle order has ensured a strong finish in the death overs. Sanju Samson’s bowling changes have been impressive as well. While the two new-ball pacers were given the entire Powerplay against Sunrisers, an additional pacer in Navdeep Saini and Ravichandran Ashwin’s spin was introduced against Mumbai.
Next up, it's the Royals vs Royal battle in Mumbai!
RR vs RCB - 05 April 2022
Wankhede Stadium (Mumbai)
7:30 PM IST
Both teams will be playing at this venue for the first time this year. The current pitch at Wankhede has favoured the bowlers more, particularly the quicks. In the three games played here until now, teams batting first have crossed the 150-run mark just once. Winning the toss and bowling first seems to be the trend in the IPL, but the Royals are the only team to have successfully deferred that notion twice so far. It remains to be seen if these results affect the toss on Tuesday. Let’s also not forget the impact of dew at this particular ground.
The last time these two teams squared off, Bangalore had the upper hand, winning both matches of the 2021 season. The Players of the Match in those games - Yuzvendra Chahal and Devdutt Padikkal - are now part of the Royals camp. It will be fascinating to watch them go up against their former franchise.
Historically, the two sides have faced each other 24 times in the IPL, with the Royals getting 10 wins under their belt and Bangalore leading with 12. Two matches have ended up without a result. The Royals will be looking to cash in on their sky-high momentum and shake things up against an opponent also coming off a win.
Player Battles to watch
Faf du Plessis vs R Ashwin & Trent Boult
In 7 and 9 T20 innings against R Ashwin and Trent Boult, Faf du Plessis has managed to score 49 and 39 runs respectively, and has been dismissed thrice. Boult is even more impressive against Bangalore in the IPL - he has scalped 11 wickets in 7 matches at a strike rate of 15.3. He has also taken Faf’s wicket the most times by any pacer in the IPL. Watch out for a lightning-fast spell from the Kiwi!
Another thing to note is that the Royals have taken at least 2 wickets within the first 6 overs in each of their two matches. It will be interesting to see their bowling strategy against the Bangalore openers, especially early on in the innings.
Dinesh Karthik vs Yuzvendra Chahal
Dinesh Karthik has faced Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg spin in 8 T20 innings. Chahal has kept a busy batter like Karthik quiet at the crease, giving away just 31 runs and dismissing him thrice. His wicket will be crucial for the Royals, especially towards the end of the innings, when an impetus looms large for the batting team.
Navdeep Saini took a screamer at the boundary against Mumbai to send the dangerous Ishan Kishan packing in the last game. In the process, the pacer hurt his head and walked off the field for a while, only to return and bowl us to victory in the final over. Unless it’s a serious injury concern, the Royals will not want to tamper with a winning Playing XI.
A heavy batting line-up, a strong new-ball pair, a formidable spin duo and livewires in the field - it's early days yet but the Royals’ all-round offering makes them one of the most challenging sides to beat this season. With the kind of team effort and intent that was on display in the last two outings, this bunch of hard-workers seems to know only one way - upwards and onwards. And as fans, we’re here for it!