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The hapless Rajasthan Royals for the second time this season will lock horns with the spirited Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in what will be the 33rd match of the Indian Premier League 2020. The match will be the first one to take place on the double-header Saturday. With the evening match scheduled to take place between the table toppers Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super kings.

Rajasthan Royals will be coming to the match on the back of a defeat as their previous match against the Delhi Capitals saw them on the losing side by 13 runs. Shreyas Iyer after winning the toss chose to bat first and with the help of quick-fire half-centuries from the opener Shikhar Dhawan and the captain himself, the team managed to notch up a score of 161. The batting of the Royals except Stokes and Uthappa, failed once again and eventually ended up on the losing side.

RCB lost their encounter against KXIP after the veteran West Indian Chris Gayle announced his arrival with a swashbuckling fifty. The Challengers after winning the toss chose to bat first and most of their batsmen getting a start combined with the onslaught of the South African all-rounder Chris Morris helped RCB reach a total of 171, which given the nature of the Sharjah pitch seemed below par. The KXIP started off well with their openers once again fighting among themselves for the orange cap.

The pair put up a stand of 78 runs for the first wicket and with the fall of Mayank Agarwal. The stage was set for the “Universe Boss” Chris Gayle took hold of the proceedings and the left-hander did exactly that by scoring a stunning 53 runs of 45 balls. Though the match was taken to the last over by the RCB and threatened to take the game away as the KXIP needed 1 run of the last ball. The in-form Nicholas Pooran was not prepared for a super over and decided to finish the game by hitting a six down the ground.

Can RCB make a quick turnover to their momentum? Or will Steven Smith and Co. seek redemption?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 21, RR- 10, RCB- 9, N/R- 0

Team News

Rajasthan Royals will feel unfortunate as they could not get past the Delhi Capitals. The Royals did a wonderful job to restrict the table toppers to 161 runs. But once the batting woes of the RR top order continued. Eventually ending up on the losing side by 13 runs. 

With Robin Uthappa finding some form in the game against the Delhi team. The management will be hoping the right-hander can continue his good touch. Given, the RR had a close finish and with almost everything looking well set, they are likely to feature the same Xl that played against the DC.

RCB on the other side have been doing a wonderful job this season so far. With few tactical errors that cost RCB the game like sending AB de Villiers much later during their innings and not using Washington Sundar in the powerplay. The team looks well settled and the only change the management may bring about might be the replacement of Mohammad Siraj with Pawan Negi.

Pitch and Conditions

All the three pitches have been slowing down as the Indian Premier League 2020 has already seen more than 30 matches. The pitch in Dubai though has been more friendly to the batsmen with the occasional odd bounce and spin favoring the slow bowlers. 

As seen in the last few matches any score of 170 by the team batting first seems to put the team chasing in trouble. With the match scheduled to take place in the afternoon. The due will have no role to play whatsoever.

The conditions are once again in favor of the sport as clear skies are reported throughout the day. The temperatures and humidity have been on the lower side as the peak summer in the country is coming to an end. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 28-31 degree range. While the humidity is expected to reach the mark of 56% around the second innings.

Probable Playing Xl

Rajasthan Royals (RR): Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Smith (c), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj/Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal

Key Battles

Virat Kohli (RCB) vs Jofra Archer (RR)

Virat Kohli (RCB) vs Jofra Archer (RR)

The Bangalore team’s captain Virat Kohli who had a very shaky start to his season, has now completely turned the tables around as he is currently the 4th highest run-scorer this season with 304 runs in the 8 matches played so far. The run-machine has once again proved why he is considered one of the best batsmen of this era. Though the current Indian skipper has not been able to play with the same ease he usually does, it only shows how good he is even when not at his best.

The Royals will know if they are to win the match, they will need the wicket of the skipper. He could turn the match to a one-way traffic if he stays undismissed. The previous encounter saw him score a fluent 72 runs and he would be looking to continue from where he left. RR have one of the best bowlers in form of Jofra Archer, he has been in some really good touch and is currently the second highest wicket-taker this season with 12 wickets. If there is any bowler who could dismiss Kohli in the form he is in currently it is the English all-rounder Jofra Archer.

Can King Kohli close in on the top 3 run-getters this season? Or will Jofra Archer rattle the RCB skipper?

Ben Stokes (RR) vs Washington Sundar (RCB)

Ben Stokes (RR) vs Washington Sundar (RCB)

The much looked forward Ben Stokes did not have a great first match in this season. Though the star all-rounder showed glimpses of his real potential against the Delhi Capitals by scoring 41 runs of 35 balls. The English star player is still getting hold of things as he was away from the sport for more than two months. He will be looking forward to winning matches for his team as the RR need him more than ever currently.

While RCB will be well aware of the threat the all-rounder can bring about, the RCB though have been a much stronger bowling unit as compared to the previous seasons. The young Washington Sundar has been causing a lot of problems for the opposition batsmen in the powerplay and he is likely to continue the same. Though, the off-spinner might be a bit low on confidence after getting hammered by the West Indian hard-hitter Chris Gayle. Given the quality of Sundar, he is very likely to make a comeback in this encounter.

Can the English all- rounder make easy work of the RCB bowlers? Or will Sundar be able to contain the RR star.

Prediction

Rajasthan Royals would feel unfortunate in a way as they ended up on the losing side on occasions which they were on the driver’s seat. RCB on the other side after a few stunning performances, were completely clueless against the onslaught of the KXIP. Though the RCB are well placed in the points table they will be looking forward to winning this encounter so as to make things easier for them.

The pitch in  Dubai has been slowing down as seen in the last games and given that the RCB have a very good spin attack in the form of Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal, the conditions seem to be in favor of the Bangalore side.

Rajasthan Royals will need to address their middle-order woes if they want to turn the momentum in their favor. The team does have some really high caliber players with the likes of Steven Smith and Sanju Samson. But the fact that the players have been struggling to get going, has been struggling to get moving in the points table.

Cricwizz predicts Royal Challengers Bangalore to win