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Virat Kohli and Co. will lock horns with the Rajasthan Royals in the clash for the top spot, the encounter will mark the 15th match of the IPL 2020 and the first of the double-header this season. The match has a lot at stake as the winner of the clash can claim the top spot in the points table. Both teams will be hoping they can cut the chase and make it top. RCB would be feeling confident after a bold performance against the defending champions Mumbai Indians.

Rajasthan Royals on the other side tasted their first defeat this season after losing to the Kolkata Knight Riders by 37 runs. The match did expose the over dependence on Sanju Samson and their captain Steven Smith to always take them over the line. The batting order failed miserably once these two key players were dismissed.

The match between RCB and MI turned out to be one of the best thrillers in the history of the tournament as Pollard and Ishan Kisan almost took MI over the line. Though the brilliant bowling of Navdeep Saini in the super over meant MI could only score 7. RCB were not ready to lose the match from there. They will be hoping to win this encounter against RR and climb the table which could be a lot more good for their momentum and confidence in their hunt for the maiden IPL title.

Can Sanju Samson and RR captain guide their team over the line once more? Or will RCB breach the weak middle-order for RR and claim the top spot?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 20, RCB- 8, RR- 10, Tie- 2

Team News

Both the teams have not reported any injury concerns. RCB would feel more confident as their bowling line-up looks much stronger with the addition of Adam Zampa and Isuru Udana. RCB would be more than happy to field the same Xl that won them the game against the mighty Mumbai Indians.

Rajasthan Royals will again be without the services of star English all-rounder Ben Stokes. With the middle-order struggling to make any significant contribution. The management is likely to replace Tom Curran with the experienced South African hard-hitter David Miller.

Pitch and Conditions

The pitch is Abu Dhabi has been on the slower side when compared to the ones in Dubai and Sharjah. Said that, even a score of 160 has been a winning total for the team batting first. With the match scheduled to be played in the afternoon, the dew is not expected to play any part. For that reason, the team batting first would be looking to bat first. 

The weather is again on the clear side, which means no interruptions are expected during the game. The temperature is expected to be hovering around the 32-34 degrees which is slightly on the lower side as compared to the last week. Humidity is expected to be around the 60% range.

Probable Playing Xl

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(wk), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa

Rajasthan Royals(RR): Jos Buttler(wk), Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Tom Curran/David Miller, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat

Key Battles

Jos Butler(RR) vs Washington Sundar(RCB)

Jos Butler(RR) vs Washington Sundar(RCB)

The English wicket-keeper batsman Jos Butler after missing out the first match has not been able to give the start for the RR they are expecting out of him. Said that, he is one of the best openers at the International level and it could just matter of a few bad deliveries that can get the hard-hitter back to his prime. 

Washington Sundar on the other side is proving to be a key player for RCB. Especially during the power plays. The batsmen have been finding the going very tough against the 20-year old. With Jos Butler searching for his form, the youngster is someone who gives no chances whatsoever. 

Can the English opener break the shackles against the youngster? Or will his dot ball bowling ability put the hard-hitter under pressure?

Devdutt Padikkal(RCB) vs Jofra Archer(RCB)

Devdutt Padikkal(RCB) vs Jofra Archer(RCB)

RCB have finally found the right opener for the team in form of Devdutt Padikkal. The youngster has shown great talent already by scoring two half-centuries in only the three games the team has played. He did a very good job in playing the experienced Mumbai Indians bowlers and especially Jasprit Bumrah, who is considered one of the best in the World.

Jofra Archer has been the key bowler for RR this season without a doubt. He has been performing both with the bat and ball. He is someone who is not easy to get away with. It definitely will be a great contest between two young talents of their respective countries.

Can Padikkal show the same resistance as against MI? Or will the English star prove too difficult for the youngster?

Prediction

Royal Challengers Bangalore look much stronger side after the inclusion of Australian lead spinner Adam Zampa and Sri Lankan pacer Isuru Udana. The opening pair too seems to have found their rhythm.

The only concern of the RCB would be the form of their captain Virat Kohli. Though it is a matter of time that the run-machine starts to get his form back. RCB would be hoping the captain clicks as his contribution can put the team in a much stronger situation.

Rajasthan Royals on the other side seem in a bit of concern with their middle-order woes. Though breathing the bat of Steve Smith and Sanju Samson itself would be tough for the RCB bowlers. It will be interesting to see what RR can do to strengthen their middle-order. 

The teams have faced each other 20 times and there is very little to separate them on the sheets. Given that RCB are coming on the back of a win against the defending champions MI and RR are too dependent on their two key batsmen. RCB will have the slight edge here.

Cricwizz predicts Royal Challengers Bangalore to win