20th May, 2015
MCA Stadium, Pune
It has been crazy 6 weeks for all teams, traveling and playing. And it comes down to this game for both, RR and RCB. This game will decide who will stay in the tournament. The loser goes home. The winner will travel a little more to Ranchi to play CSK in Qualifier 2.
Both teams have same number of points at league stage:
No Result 2
To add, both teams have heavy reliance on their top 3 batsmen:
Rahane, Watson and Smith - for RR
Gayle, Kohli and De Villiers - for RCB
The only advantage that the Royals have is, they have played their first game of 2015 at Pune and they won; thanks to superb performance of James Faulkner vs KXIP.
Head To Head: 15
RR - 7
RCB - 7
No Result - 1 (In IPL 2015, at Chinnaswamy stadium, when RCB batted first and scored 200 runs but rain played spoilsport).
Stats and trivia
Royal Challengers took 86 wickets in the league stage, next to only Super Kings, despite fewer opportunities due to rain. Royals picked up 69 wickets, the least in the league stage
Royal Challengers have scored the quickest during the league stage at 9.4 runs an over. Royals are fourth at 8.53
Royal Challengers have a 2-0 record in Pune. Royals are 2-1 at the same venue
Players to watch out for
Ajinkya Rahane has scored 498 runs this season with four half-centuries in 12 innings at a strike-rate of 133.15. Virat Kohli has made 481 with three fifties in 14 innings at 133.98. Just like the overall record of these two teams, these numbers are neck-and-neck, and go to highlight the importance of the two leading Indian batsmen in their respective line-ups.
Mitchell Starc has transformed Royal Challengers from a top-heavy batting side to one that can strike and contain with the new ball as well as at the death. Chris Morris may not have taken as many wickets as Starc has, but he has been equally hard to get away and his nagging bounce has been a crucial asset for Royals too.
What will be RR's playing 11