After beating Kings XI Punjab comprehensively in Friday clash, Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to continue the winning momentum when they take on Rajasthan Royals at M Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bengaluru on Sunday afternoon. Royals escaped with a win in the last clash against Delhi Daredevils. They need to put up a better display against RCB. Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams ahead of the clash between RCB and RR at Bengaluru on Sunday.
Explosive batting line-up:
RCB have an explosive batting line-up with the likes of Kohli, ABD, Mandeep Singh, Brendon McCullum. They can chase down any total as chase master Kohli would look to lead from the front. ABD can bring down any bowling down to its knees. He scored a blazing fifty in the clash against KXIP. Young guns Mandeep Singh and Sarfaraz Khan can also be more than handy in playing some useful cameos in the middle-lower order.
Not good defenders: RCB bowling can crumble when defending a target as they have few weak links in their bowling attack. For example, Chris Woakes, turning up as the fifth bowler, has leaked runs in the last two matches. RCB need to produce up a clinical effort to outclass Rajasthan Royals.
RCB possible XI:
Virat Kohli, Brendon McCullum, Mandeep Singh, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Quinton de Kock, YS Chahal, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Chris Woakes, K Khejorliya
Rajasthan Royals strengths
Rajasthan Royals have one of the best batting and bowling line-ups in this competition. They have excellent foreign buys in D’Arcy Short, Jos Buttler, all-rounder Ben Stokes, an able opener in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, local talent in Sanju Samson and Jaydev Unadkat. If they work together as a team, they can give RCB a run for their money at Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Rajasthan Royals weaknesses
Failing to work as a team
Royals were lucky to escape with a win in the clash against Delhi Daredevils as they have to defend a stiff revised target of 71 in 6 overs. But they are still far from performing as a team. There is still communication gap when running between the wickets. Royals need to iron out their deficiencies to give a tough fight to RCB who will be playing at home.
RR possible XI:
Colin Munro, Gautam Gambhir (c), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Chris Morris, , Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Trent Boult
Key battles to watch out for:
Virat Kohli vs Ben Stokes
Indian and RCB skipper Virat Kohli have had a history of altercations with England all-rounder Ben Stokes. In the 2016 Test series at home against England, Kohli had silenced Stokes with finger-on-his-lips action. Stokes is also an aggressive player and it will be exciting to watch contest between these two players in IPL 2018. Will Kohli prevail over Stokes or vice versa?
AB de Villiers and Jaydev Unadkat
The South African player looks in great form in the last two matches and he will be itching to have a go at Royals bowling, especially their speedster Jaydev Undkat. ABD will look to destroy Unadkat and Co. to give the team the edge over Royals. Unadkat has high expectations to live up to. He will love to have a cracking at ABD.
Statistics: RCB have played 16 matches against Royals, winning 8, losing 7 and one no result.
Prediction: RCB are on a roll after the win over Kings XI Punjab. Royals have struggled in all departments. Our vote goes to RCB as they will be playing at home.
Possible winner: RCB