The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have had a rather unusual start to life in the UAE. They’ve won a match where the opposition have needed just 43 runs in the last five overs with eight wickets in hand. They then almost threw away a game in which their opponents required 81 in the last four overs.
These two close encounters sandwiched an incredible 97-run defeat to the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in between them. And now, they find themselves sixth in the table, thanks mainly to that defeat, of course.
RCB could, however, make their way to the top of the table, albeit only till the end of the day. All they need to do is beat the Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan, too, have had a rather strange start to IPL 2020. First they beat the Chennai Super Kings in a high-scoring encounter after Sanju Samson and Steve Smith got off to a whirlwind start. They, then, broke the record for the highest total successfully chased in the IPL, in a game that will now be remembered for Rahul Tewatia’s heroics.
RR followed up those two wins with defeat to the Knight Riders, in a game that they were well and truly out of by the end. And, while the momentum may not be in their hands anymore, this is the IPL, and on their day, any team can pull the rabbit out of the hat to produce a win out of nothing. All factors considered, we could be in for an exciting Bangalore v Rajasthan clash later today.
IPL 2020: RCB v RR Match Prediction
Virat Kohli’s men went into the game against the Mumbai Indians (MI) having made three changes to the side. The most significant of those were the addition of Isuru Udana and Adam Zampa in place of Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav.
This move also saw the introduction of Washington Sundar in the powerplay overs, a change that paid dividends, in the end. As witnessed by MI’s struggles to really get going in the first 16 overs, Kohli may have found the answer to his team’s bowling woes early in the innings.
But that still leaves one big question unanswered: what about the death overs? The Royal Challengers were taken apart in the death overs by Mumbai, going for 80 in the last four. Although RCB did win that match, the team were in too good a position to allow the Super Over to be forced.
Whether Chris Morris, the much-anticipated death-overs saviour, plays today for RCB, remains to be seen. Going by what happened the last time around, it could very well be what happens in the back end of the RR innings that defines the fixture.
As for the RCB batting, a notable exception from the top-scorer lists is captain Virat Kohli. Although a lot is being said about Kohli’s form, it bodes well for the team that young Devdutt Padikkal, the experienced Aaron Finch, and RCB’s local hero AB de Villiers, have all struck form at the right time. The captain’s heroics have not been missed too much by the Bangalore franchise, yet.
The Rajasthan Royals’ skipper, on the other hand, has made quite the statement by opening the innings for his team this time around. Steve Smith kicked off his IPL 2020 campaign with a couple of well-made fifties in the first two games of the tournament.
However, it was 25-year-old Sanju Samson who has really been impressive for RR so far in the tournament. First, a whirlwind innings took the match completely away from the Chennai Super Kings. Then, a similar blitz kept them in the game against KXIP.
However, for a team that could be considered top-heavy by many, the likes of Rahul Tewatia, Tom Curran, and Jofra Archer have landed a few lusty blows and added some handy runs at the back end of the innings.
Given RCB’s troubles with the ball towards the end of the innings, this is the portion of the game that RR could very well take advantage of, if they are to win this game. In all likelihood, it could very well be their death-overs bowling that costs RCB the game, proving the SRH fixture to be something of an anomaly in that sense.
Match Prediction: RR to win today.Published 03 Oct 2020, 09:47 IST