Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers will face off at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday, with both wanting to forget what happened in their last match. On Thursday night at Sharjah, the decision to send A.B. de Villiers with just four overs remaining proved costly for the Bangalore team against Kings XI Punjab.
Left-handers Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube were sent ahead of the South African genius in the hope that they could upset the rhythm of the two Punjab leg-spinners.
Remember, in the previous match, de Villers had played a stunning knock off 73 not out off 33 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders. Needless to say, the move backfired. RCB’s great march was halted, as it lost by eight wickets.
On the previous night at Dubai, Rajasthan Royals was beaten by Delhi Capitals by 13 runs. Once again, it was batting that let Steve Smith’s men down. The captain himself has been struggling after getting fifties in the first two matches. Sanju Samson had 70-plus scores in both those matches, but like his captain he too hasn’t been able to come up with a significant score since. The other big name in the top three, Jos Buttler, has had just one fifty. Ben Stokes had done well as an opener in the last match, but the Royals top-order has to live up to its reputation if it wants to entertain hopes of making it to the playoffs.
Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag are capable of winning matches in the middle-order, but they could do with some support at the top of the order. In Jofra Archer, Royals has one of the best bowlers in the competition.
Rahul Tewatia. – IPL
RCB boasts a more varied, potent attack. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar and fast bowler Navdeep Saini have all impressed. The batting, in the form of captan Virat Kohli, de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch, is one of the best in the competition. They will be keen to show the world that what happened on Thursday was an abberation.
Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith (Captain), Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Ankit Rajpoot, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye,Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran and Anuj Rawat.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), A.B. de Villiers (Wicket-keeper), Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Josh Philippe, Dale Steyn, Pawan Negi, Isuru Udana, Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Parthiv Patel, Pavan Deshpande and Adam Zampa.
Game No. 33: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals.
Venue: Dubai International Stadium.
Date: October 16, Thursday.
Time: 3:30 p.m.