The other, of course, was the Delhi Capitals (DC), who were matched with RCB on points and looked very strong on paper. Pairing two teams with Super Over wins along with some complete performances this season, the match promised to be a close contest. Instead, RCB backed away to allow DC to bowl them over.
It turned out that the Red and Gold brigade would flatter to deceive. Right from the powerplay overs, during which Washington Sundar was again frugal but the quicks and even Yuzvendra Chahal were feasted upon, it became clear that RCB would not have an easy evening with the ball.
While no DC batsman really occupied the crease for a significant chunk of the innings, they had quickfire contributions from Prithvi Shaw, Marcus Stoinis and Rishabh Pant, along with a measured 32 by opener Shikhar Dhawan. The runs at the death allowed DC to post a commanding 196/4.
Chasing a tall target, RCB already had their backs to the wall. They were up against South African seamers Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada - who produced several chances - as well as the accurate R Ashwin and Axar Patel, who spun a few past the edge.
The amount of control exerted by the bowlers meant that the RCB top four - including captain Virat Kohli, who was the only RCB batsmen to cross 20 - lost their wickets trying to attack.
Once that happened, although the middle and lower order put up some resistance, the DC bowlers ensured a clinical target defence, with Rabada claiming the first four-for of this IPL.
In a game where almost all went well for DC - except maybe a few runs conceded by Harshal Patel - RCB were asked many uncomfortable questions. Their middle order stood exposed once again, and their familiar problems at the death returned to haunt them. Here are three players who underperformed in the RCB vs DC IPL 2020 game.
#3 Aaron Finch (RCB)
Australian white-ball skipper Aaron Finch has played a few promising knocks for RCB this season, but has also shown a tendency to perish while trying to be too aggressive. This game saw a very uncharacteristic Finch, as he looked tied down and unable to trust the pitch in Dubai.
He was dropped off just the second ball - he spooned a return catch to bowler Kagiso Rabada, who just couldn't hold on to a simple one. In the same over, Rabada had one take the outside edge and fall short of Dhawan at slip.
In the next over, Nortje produced another edge, but this time it burst through Dhawan's hands. It was only just then that Finch was ultimately out caught, this time by keeper Rishabh Pant off Axar Patel's bowling.
With very little foot movement, Finch reached for a dipping, turning delivery that took the edge and sent him on his way for an unconvincing 13.
#2 Devdutt Padikkal (RCB)
In RCB's previous game, opener Devdutt Padikkal laid claim to an IPL record - the fewest innings taken to hit three fifties in the IPL. His form with the bat allowed him to take the pressure off of captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who follow soon after. However, in the games where he has gone back early, RCB have suffered.
Pitted against IPL veteran Ravichandran Ashwin, while also seeing Finch get three lives at the other end, the young batsman may have gotten flustered in the face of a climbing required run rate.
Stepping out to swipe a slower, wider off-break, Padikkal could only hit the ball as far as the deep mid-wicket fielder Stoinis, who got his name on the scoreboard once more after being the star with the bat earlier on.
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#1 Navdeep Saini (RCB)
Virat Kohli's trusted speedster who has a knack of targeting the stumps, Navdeep Saini was expected to make an early impact with the ball and take wickets in the powerplay for RCB.
In his first over, however, he was negotiated well by the DC openers and went for two boundaries. Called upon to bowl the 15th over, he was very expensive as he went for three boundaries aside from conceding a no-ball for height. Saini was unlucky to not have his name in the wickets column as Stoinis, the dangerman, was dropped off his bowling by Chahal at the boundary.
Despite his figures reading 2-0-30-0, he was trusted by Kohli to bowl his next over. Unfortunately for Saini, his evening went from bad to worse as Stoinis and Pant laid into his quick bowling for three more boundaries. Pant in particular hit him down the ground, and then anticipated the stock quicker ball and used the pace to guide it fine.
Saini went back with figures of 3-0-48-0. He did show he can offer resistance with the bat, however, as he stayed not out till the end of the RCB innings which eventually fell way short of DC's score.
Published 06 Oct 2020, 00:52 IST