A new venue, a familiar opponent, one golden opportunity. The stage is set.
Things didn’t go our way in Kolkata, as we were on the receiving end of a tough loss against Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2022. The conditions were tricky to bat on, but our batters did well to post a formidable total with vital contributions from the top and middle order. However, the wicket eased out in the second innings, with the ball coming onto the bat nicely. GT made the most of the surface by completing the chase in the last over and confirmed their spot in the final.
Having finished the league stage in second position means that the Royals have another chance to continue their pursuit of a second IPL title. We now take on Royal Challengers Bangalore, winners of the Eliminator, in Qualifier 2. Both teams have faced off twice this season, with RCB winning the first encounter and the Royals bouncing back to claim a comprehensive victory in the second.
Qualifier 2: Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore - May 27, 2022
Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
This will be the season’s first-ever match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Since IPL 2021, teams batting second have won three of the five matches played here, and captains have chosen to bowl first in all five. The average first-innings score at this venue has been 159, and pacers have enjoyed more success than the spinners, with 33 wickets in 10 innings. The Royals have won seven of their 12 IPL games at this ground, while RCB have won two of their three.
Player battle to watch
Trent Boult vs Faf du Plessis
Trent Boult’s ability to draw first blood in the Powerplay has been a threat to almost every opposition this season. This time, the left-arm quick will be facing the opening pair of Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli and a franchise he’s found the most success against. The RCB captain has faced Boult in 11 T20 innings, scoring only 62 runs at an average of 20.7 and has been dismissed by the pacer on three occasions. With the Protea opening the innings and a swinging Boult up against him in the first six overs - this one has all the makings of an exciting contest.
Most wickets for Trent Boult against an opposition in IPL
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Chennai Super Kings
Kolkata Knight Riders
In the spotlight
Yashasvi Jaiswal: The Silent Attacker
Since his return to the team this season, Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored 190 runs across five innings, including two fiery half-centuries, both in winning causes. The youngster has showcased his ability to clear the boundary with ease, and has settled into his role of an attacking batter in the Powerplay. His aggressive intent coupled with Jos Buttler’s mastery at switching gears makes for a perfect opening pair in the Royals’ top order. With a place in the final at stake and an opportunity to shine at the top, expect the southpaw to come out playing his natural game and go big yet again.
It was an unchanged Playing XI for us in the first qualifier, as the management decided to retain the winning combination from our match against CSK. Daryl Mitchell’s recent call-up for the England Tests meant that the Kiwi all-rounder had to exit the Royals bio-bubble immediately after our previous game to join the New Zealand squad for a practice match ahead of the series. Will this must-win clash lead to a shuffle in our bowling attack, or will the management consider boosting the middle order with an extra batter or an all-rounder? Only time will tell. There is no other official update from the camp as of now.
- Prasidh Krishna is 5 wickets away from completing 50 IPL wickets
- Sanju Samson is 9 short of 2000 IPL runs as wicketkeeper
- Ravichandran Ashwin needs 20 more runs to complete 1000 runs in T20s