Table-toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday. Virat Kohli's men are the only unbeaten team in the league with three wins from as many games on the slow track in Chennai.
The pitch at the Wankhede will suit the big-hitters in the RCB ranks and they will back themselves to make it four wins in a row. RR, on the other hand, will be playing their fifth game at the same venue. They aren't having the best of IPL seasons and have won just one out of their four games.
3 batsmen to watch out for in RCB vs RR encounter
The games this season at the Wankhede have made it evident that even a score in excess of the 200-run mark is not beyond reach, especially with the dew factor helping the chasing team. Thus, it will be important for star batsmen from both RCB and RR to go big in this encounter.
On that note, let's take a look at the three batsmen who could get a big score in the RCB vs RR match.
#3 Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson is battling a familiar problem in the current IPL season and that is his inconsistency. Although he scored a brilliant hundred in the opening game, he has gone missing for the next three matches and that has cost his side.
Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why, despite his enormous talent, Samson has been dropped from Team India's T20I plans. He needs to have a sensational IPL season if he is to get back in the reckoning for the T20 World Cup squad.
This is also his first season as the RR skipper and he might be finding it to get used to the ups and downs of the IPL. However, this is the best time for him to come of age and get his team back on track. Samson is one of the batsmen RCB need to be wary of in today's encounter.
#2 AB de Villiers
Aging like fine wine, AB de Villiers just seems to be getting better with each passing IPL season. In three games, he has already played two extraordinary knocks that proved to be the difference for RCB.
De Villiers has always enjoyed batting at the Wankhede Stadium and also scored a century against the Mumbai Indians here in 2015. He will relish the challenge of playing his unorthodox shots on the batting-friendly track here.
He could be the difference between RCB scoring close to the 200-run mark and beyond the 220-run mark. If AB de Villiers finds his groove, it might be impossible for the RR bowlers to stop a repeat of the South African's heroic innings against them last year, where he scored a match-winning 55 off just 22 balls.
#1 Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell's return to form in the IPL has been a stunning story. His horrible IPL 2020 season seems like something that happened a long time ago as he is no longer the batsman who struggled to hit a single six.
Maxwell is the current highest run-scorer for RCB with 176 runs from three games. He already has two half-centuries to his name and is one of the main reasons why RCB are unbeaten in the tournament so far.
Having adjusted to the slow Chennai track, Maxwell will relish the opportunity to bat on a batting paradise at the Wankhede. If he gets going, he has the ability to bat RR out of the game. Maxwell will probably be the biggest wicket the RR bowlers will need to take as soon as they can.