IPL 2018, Match 11, RCB vs RR: Preview, head to head, and key players to watch out for
Can RCB make Bengaluru their fortress?
However, the new season promises to be much better than the previous one as RCB registered their first win at home in the very first game against KXIP.
RCB will now take on Rajasthan Royals, who registered their first win of the season against Delhi Daredevils.
Both the teams have won one game and lost one game so far in the tournament. RCB would want to make the most of home conditions and register another win.
Probable Playing XI
RCB’s batting has always been their main strength. With Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers comprising the top four, the opposition is bound to be under pressure if one of them hits a purple patch. RCB has also performed well as a bowling unit in both the games.
Umesh Yadav and Washington Sundar’s inclusion has boosted their chances of doing well in the tournament. The only change RCB should make is to replace Sarfaraz Khan and bring in Pawan Negi, who could give them more options.
RCB: Virat Kohli (captain), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Mandeep Singh, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Kulwant Khejroliya, Chris Woakes and Yuzvendra Chahal
Rajasthan started the tournament with a mediocre batting performance against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). While they put up a decent batting display against DD, D’Arcy Short and Ben Stokes are yet to deliver.
Rajasthan can replace Short with Heinrich Klaasen, who has been in exceptional form and is a good player of spin bowling.
RR: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Ben Stokes, Heinrich Klassen, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham
AB de Villiers: ‘Mr. 360’ is a delight to watch when he is in full flow. His ability to play shots all around the park is mesmerizing. de Villiers made 44 from 23 balls against KKR before getting out. In the second game, he timed the run-chase to perfection and helped RCB win their first game. One can expect more fireworks from the South African star.
Sanju Samson: He has been the most consistent batsman for RR in the two games. In the opening game against SRH, he made 49 from 42 balls and followed it up with 37 from 22 balls against DD. Samson’s ability to play according to the situation is a big positive for RR. He has held the fort for them in the past and is expected to do the same throughout the tournament.
Virat Kohli: The Indian skipper got off to starts in both games but hasn’t yet got to being his destructive best. Against KKR, he made 31 from 33 balls before being dismissed by part-timer Nitish Rana. In the previous game, he made 21 from 16 before he was deceived by 17-year-old mystery bowler, Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Having missed out earlier, Kohli would want to score big in the next few games.
Ben Stokes: The Englishman went for a hefty sum (12.5 crores) in the auctions this year. However, Stokes is yet to make an impact on the field. In both the games, the Englishman had an average outing and hasn’t been able to do justice to his abilities. Having said that, if it is Stokes’ day with the bat, RCB will have a hard time containing him.
Umesh Yadav: In both games, Yadav impressed everyone with his line and length. His ability to bowl above 140 km/hr constantly in the good areas has been fruitful. Against KKR, he took two wickets giving away just 27 runs. He won the man of the match award for his 23/3 against KXIP. Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, and Yuvraj Singh were all dismissed by him in one over.
Head to head
The two teams have faced each other on 16 occasions in the IPL. RCB has a slight advantage as they have 8 wins while RR has 7.
RR’s highest score against RCB is 197/1 (Jaipur, 2008); Result: RR won by 65 runs
RCB’s highest score against RR is 200/7 (Bengaluru, 2015) Result: No Result
RR’s lowest score against RCB is 58/10 (Cape Town, 2009); Result: RCB won by 75 runs
RCB’s lowest score against RR is 70/10 (Abu Dhabi, 2014); Result: RR won by 6 wickets
It seems RCB has sorted their bowling woes while RR is still trying to find out their best combination. The RCB top-order has contributed significantly in both games and is most likely to deliver again.
For RR, contributions from Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Sanju Samson will be vital. RCB are favorites going into this game as they are familiar with the home conditions and have a balanced team.