Rajasthan Royals will have to shrug off a regular bowling performance in their final appearance when they clash on Friday with Royal Challengers Bangalore, a team that looks set to peak at the right time in the high stakes IPL Qualifier-2. After sneaking into the play-offs, it looks like RCB is on a roll and a close win over Lucknow in the Eliminator has raised expectations for a much-anticipated trophy. They are going up against Rajasthan, a team that has covered all bases but still fell short against Gujarat in Qualifier 1.
The IPL caravan moves to Ahmedabad after some high scoring matches in Kolkata.
It was a quick turnaround for RCB, but they won’t mind if they want to capitalize on the momentum.
“The best thing is we have one day and we can play again. I can’t wait to be in Ahmedabad and back on the pitch. We are so excited and happy with how it went. Hopefully two more games and can we all celebrate.” star RCB batter Virat Kohli told the IPL website after the win over LSG. Rajat Patidar, who played the innings of his life on Wednesday, will be a man of utmost confidence in another high-pressure knockout match.
For someone who went unsold in the IPL auction and joined the RCB squad as a substitute, it was a career-changing season for him.
Both the high-profile openers, Kohli and Faf du Plessis, are great match players and will be itching to impress after low returns in the previous game. Dinesh Karthik has managed to maintain consistency in a difficult role and team management would also hope for more runs in the back of Glenn Maxwell’s innings.
The team will likely stick with the winning combination. While Wanindu Hasaranga has shown the courage even when taken to the cleaners, Harshal Patel has been the go-to pacer in slogovers.
Mohammad Siraj returned for the LSG match and bowled well with the new ball. Josh Hazlewood honed his reputation as a death bowler with a decisive penultimate over and with the addition of a yorker to his arsenal, it’s only gotten harder to score.
RCB bowlers will have to be at their best against a formidable lineup of Rajasthan that relies heavily on Jos Buttler and skipper Sanju Samson. Both scored against Gujarat but it turned out not to be enough.
Samson is eager to turn his 30s and 40s into a big knock and lead from the front.
It remains to be seen how the bowlers will return after a forgettable outing. R Ashwin had a rare offday against Gujarat, while Prasidh Krishna paid the prize for bowling balls to David Miller in the final.
Squad: Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (Captain), Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, KC Cariappa, Navdeep Saini, An Obed McC Soy, , Karun Nair, Dhruv Jurel, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Shubham Garhwal, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen, Daryl Mitchell, Corbin Bosch.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (Captain), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Shelfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudesai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Karn Sharma, David Willey, Rajat Patidar and Siddharth Kaul The match will start at 7:30 PM.