Indian Premier League, 2018
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals
The Big Picture
The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League has got off to a riveting start with a plethora of matches going down the wire, and it is expected to offer much the same as a buoyed RCB unit fresh from a win against KXIP will take on Rajasthan Royals, who are coming off a morale-boosting win in a rain-marred game against the Delhi Daredevils.
Where: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
When: 15 April 2018, 4:00 PM
With short boundaries and high altitudes, the pitch at the Chinnaswamy Stadium has proved to be a heaven for the batsman, especially in white-ball cricket. However, with the pitch getting relaid in 2016, the past two seasons have witnessed the track to be sluggish, making stroke-play difficult, reminiscent of the disastrous campaign RCB endured last year.
Statistics over the years:
While over the past decade, the average first innings score has ranged from 156 to 140.62 in 2017, a sharp dip as compared to the 2016 season, where average first innings total was 192. 40.2% of the matches have been won by the team batting first (35) while teams batting second have won 54% of the matches (47), four matches have ended as N/R.
Team Preview and Probable XI
Royal Challengers Bangalore
On the back of a belligerent start by Baz Brendon McCullum (43 off 27 balls), and a superb partnership between AB de Villiers (44 off 23 balls) and Virat Kohli (31 off 33 balls), it seemed that RCB had finally put the ghosts of their dreaded campaign last year to bed, Nitish Rana’s double-wicket break, in which he accounted for Kohli and de Villers in successive balls, the reality came crashing down. While Mandeep Singh played a valiant cameo (37 off 18 balls), RCB’s weakness of a lack of finisher lower down the order was exposed to the hilt.
But the match against KXIP saw a much-improved performance from RCB, particularly from their bowlers spearheaded by Umesh Yadav, as they became the first bowling unit to bowl out a side in this years IPL. While there is a lot to be desired when it comes to their lower-order batting, RCB might repace Manan Vohra with Sarfaraz Khan, who has been out-of-touch thus far in the tournament.
Quinton de Kock (wk), Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan/Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Kulwant Khejroliya
The Rajasthan Royals had an abysmal start to their 2018 IPL campaign as they went down to the 2016 IPL champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by nine-wickets.
The second match against the Delhi Daredevils saw a much-improved performance from Rajasthan. While the likes of Rahane, Samson, and Buttler fared well with the bat, it was their fast bowlers, who displayed exemplary control and a plethora of skills to restrict the Delhi batsmen well below the desired target of 71 in six overs (D/L).
While not much changes are expected in the Rajasthan line-up, Jofra Archer, who arrived in India on Wednesday can replace Ben Laughlin.
Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane (capt), D’Archy Short, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, S.Gopal, K Gowtham, Ben Laughlin/Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat
Where to watch Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals?
The viewers can watch the match live on Star Sports 1/HD and can also live stream the match on Hotstar.com