Royal Challengers Bangalore will be taking on Rajasthan Royals (RCB vs RR) in the 15th match of the 2020 Indian Premier League, which will be held at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Though RCB come to the fixture as the more confident side owing to their exciting super-over win against Mumbai Indians last match, a demanding Virat Kohli won’t be satisfied with the unconvincing show his bowlers put out in the game.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, remain over-reliant on star bowler Jofra Archer whose holistic display was their only positive from their clash against Kolkata Knight Riders. However, while the English all-rounder kept one end occupied majestically with the bat and the ball, the rest of the team saw a mammoth crumble as they lost to KKR by 37 runs to sit fourth in the points table, one spot above RCB.
RCB and RR have faced 21 times in the Indian Premier League so far, with the Royals winning on 10 occasions. Rajasthan have been the stronger side of late as they have won their last three face-offs with Bangalore.
AB de Villiers vs Sanju Samson
With both coming to bat at a similar position – first down – this remains the most important as well as decisive battle when Bangalore take on Rajasthan on Saturday.
While AB de Villiers has taken time to find his flair on previous IPL seasons, the South African looks in fine form right from the start this year. Having scored 140 runs in three matches with an average of 60, Mr. 360 remains RCB’s biggest hope with the bat. De Villiers have scored two fifties already and it was his unbeaten 55 in 24 balls that gave RCB a strong start against Mumbai Indians. It is hard to argue against him amidst such a stupendous form and we expect him to score another fifty.
Rajasthan’s Sanju Samson leads AB de Villiers in the total amount of runs scored as the Indian lad has amassed 167 runs over three matches at an average of 55.66. After an impressive show last season, the 26-year-old is looking at another prolific IPL season with two half-centuries already in his bag. His 42 balls 85 against Kings XI Punjab had provided the cushion for Rajasthan to pull off the biggest run chase in IPL history last week. Though his blank against KKR remained a surprise, RCB’s underwhelming bowling display is expected to see Samson in all his might.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Englishman Tom Curran is turning out to be a handy player for Steve Smith with every match. The all-rounder, who was taken into the team primarily a fast bowler to aid Jofra Archer, has been wielding the bat big as well. After taking the crucial wicket of Pat Cummins in Rajasthan’s last match against Kolkata, Curran played a magnificent 36 balls 54 coming down the order.
Though Jos Buttler hasn’t settled into the Rajasthan side yet the wicket-keeper batsman showed a glimpse of how dangerous he could be with the bat with a 16-balls 21 against KKR. Had he got some support from any of the top-order batsmen, RR’s fight against KKR could have gone the distance. With him behind the stumps, his chances to collect more points with catches and stumpings multiply.
With Virat Kohli failing to fire so far in IPL, the onus for RCB has been heavily on their overseas batsmen AB de Villiers and Aaron Finch. And while De Villiers has taken the lead, Finch has been a trusted general at the other end. With 101 runs in three matches at an average of 33.66, the Australian hard-hitter is expected to go big this season.
RCB: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(w), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa
RR: Jos Buttler(w), Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Tom Curran/David Miller, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat
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