IPL 2018, RR vs RCB: Rajasthan Royals (RR) probable playing XI against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
The Rajasthan Royals will take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday (May 19), in a match that will essentially act as a virtual quarter-final for both the sides.
The franchise that loses the match will effectively be out of contention for the IPL 2018 playoff berths, while the team to clinch victory on the day will still have a substantial chance of staying alive in the competition.
The Rajasthan Royals were in a good position going up to the Eden Gardens for a game against the Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this week, but find themselves in a tight spot now, after tasting defeat against Dinesh Karthik and his men.
Moreover, the early departure of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will add to the worry of the hosts going into the encounter against Bangalore, who are riding on the back of three consecutive victories in the tournament.
Now that Buttler won't be available at the top of the order for the hosts, skipper Ajinkya Rahane will open the batting with D'Arcy Short, with Rahul Tripathi coming in at No. 3. The right-handed batsman showed glimpses of his heroics for the Rising Pune Supergiant with an impressive cameo against KKR earlier this week and will be expected to carry his form against RCB in Jaipur.
Sanju Samson, who started off this season with a bang but has been off-colour recently, will come in at No. 4 and will want to get his form back in the vital encounter.
Heinrich Klaasen will come in place of Ben Stokes to bolster the RR batting line-up and give the home side an attacking option against the spin-bowling duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali. Krishnappa Gowtham, Stuart Binny and Jofra Archer will be entrusted with the responsibility of finishing the innings.
Shreyas Gopal will come in for Anureet Singh, so as to provide Rahane with additional spin-bowling options on the slow and dry pitch in Jaipur. Meanwhile, Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni will take charge of the seam-bowling department along with Archer.
This is a match RR cannot afford to lose, else it will be the last game they play in the season of their comeback to the Indian Premier League.
It will be tough against the mighty batting line-up of the Bangalore franchise, more so with the form, AB de Villiers finds himself in at the moment. Rahane will want his team to step up to the challenge though and will be keen to pull a rabbit out of the hat on the day.
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