Match 15 of IPL 2020 will see Royal Challengers Bangalore lock horns with Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, October 3. This will be the season’s first afternoon game with the match starting at 3.30 pm IST. The two teams come into this match with contrasting fortunes. RCB defeated Mumbai Indians in the Super Over, while the Royals lost to KKR at the same venue a couple of days ago, after their two-game winning streak. This will also be RCB’s first game at this venue and the fourth game each for the two teams. More about the RCB vs RR match preview below.
Death Bowling A Concern For Both Teams
RCB overtook Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians in their last match and won the match in the Super Over. They will be confident heading into this crucial encounter, however, death bowling will be a major concern for Virat Kohli-s team. While Navdeep Saini was at his very best the other night against Mumbai, Umesh Yadav proved to be very costly. RCB would like to perform together as a bowling unit as Dale Steyn and Yadav would look to back up the Indian quick. Numbers are staggering when it comes to RCB’s death bowling concerns. In the two matches taken together against Mumbai and Punjab, Steyn and Co have gone for 163 runs at an economy of 20.4. Also, they are yet to play in Sharjah, where already two 200 plus scores have been set with a record chase completed as well.
Batting wise Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers continue to be their mainstays. Kohli is yet to find form in the tournament and would be hoping that this is ‘the’ match for him. With Finch and Kohli going through a rough patch, De Villiers’s contribution becomes important for the middle order. Runs from Shivam Dube and Devdut Padikkal will be a bonus.
The Royals meanwhile, have their own set of problems to tackle. Their overdependence on Sanju Samson and Steve Smith was visible in the last game against KKR. Both were out early and Rajasthan lost the plot in the run-chase. Experts also believed that the team wasn’t quite over from their Sharjah hangover. Jos Buttler is due for big runs and RCB’s bowlers might just give him the right pace to unleash.
Their bowlers did a good job to keep KKR under 200 in their last game and they would like to do the same against RCB again. Big boundaries might come in their favor in limiting big shots from the likes of Finch and AB De Villiers.
Head to Head- Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals
Not a lot between to choose from the 21 games that these sides have played so far. Rajasthan have won 10, while RCB 8. Three games have ended in no-result. In the last five meetings between the two sides, RR have won three, RCB one with one game back in 2015 ending in no-result.
Weather & Pitch Conditions
Conditions are expected to be hot and humid as usual. Being an afternoon games, the heat is going to drain the players out. This being an afternoon game, there will be no dew on the ground and therefore the chasing team has no advantage as such. Bigger ground dimensions are something that will work in favor of the bowlers Abu Dhabi. Given that the role of dew is negated, captain winning the toss should look to bat first and put the opposition under pressure in the second innings.
Having won their last game, RCB should look to stay with the same side, given that Chris Morris is yet not fully fit to feature in the XI. As far as RR is concerned, they will still miss Ben Stokes who is expected to join them in the first week of the month. Robin Uthappa might have to sit out after three failures with the bat. The toss-up will be between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Manan Vohra for the opening slot with Buttler, which will allow Smith to bat at number three or four and add a bit of steam to the weaker Royals middle-order in the absence of Stokes. Varun Aaron can be a replacement for Ankit Rajpoot given his experience.
Steve Smith (C), Ankit Rajpoot, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Akash Singh, Anirudha Joshi, Anuj Rawat, Andrew Tye, David Miller, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Oshane Thomas, Robin Uthappa, Tom Curran, Yashasvi Jaiswal
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Parthiv Patel, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana, Joshua Philippe, Kane Richardson, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahamad.