IPL 2021 a tournament that brings joy and a sense of happiness to people around the world. This edition has lived up to the reputation equally if not more. The battle we have on the cards is a ‘ROYAL’ one. We even have a ‘KING‘ leading one of the sides. No no don’t worry there is no war and the cricket is not going to stop. The match we have is one of a kind as it is the Royal Challengers Bangalore take on the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 22nd April (Thursday).
It is a match of two contrasting fortunes. Royal Challengers Bangalore on one hand seem to be on a roll this season. Having secured three wins in three games they sit comfortably in the top half of the table. They seemed to have solved their middle-order issues. Their bowling is doing better than ever. It is a dream start for Virat Kohli’s men. It is the first time that they have secured three wins in a row at the start of a season.
On the other hand, we have the Rajasthan Royals. They haven’t really been able to get their act together and win. They concede too many runs in the death overs which hurts them at the end of the day. Rajasthan Royals have managed just one win in the tournament thanks to heroic performances by both their South African players David Miller and Chris Morris. They will certainly look to turn their fortunes around.
Virat Kohli will look to score big
Royal Challengers Bangalore have batted really well in the three games that they have played. On a slow Chennai wicket where the average score is around 155, they managed to make 200. The only concern for them will be Virat Kohli. The RCB skipper has not been among the runs in the first three games and is due for a big score. The RCB management will want him to fire in this game. Glenn Maxwell has been in the form of his life. He has had the best start to the tournament since 2014. He has fit perfectly into the Bangalore middle order. He has allowed AB de Villers to play the role of a finisher. Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villers combined together last game to destroy the KKR bowling with their magnificent hitting.
Rajasthan Royals have been unable to get big scores this tournament. Apart from their first game against the Punjab Kings they have failed to get going. Rajasthan tends to lose too many wickets upfront in the powerplay which puts too much pressure on the middle order. More often than not their middle-order cracks under pressure and the teams fail to score the runs. Rajasthan Royals still keep rotating their players and are yet to find the perfect combination.
Rajasthan concede too many runs at the death
The Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling seems to be on a roll this season. They cannot put a foot wrong. Harshal Patel has been the standout bowler for them. He has picked nine wickets this season. Although it will be interesting to watch how the RCB bowling performs on the Mumbai wicket which is quite different from the slow pitches they are used to in Chepauk.
Rajasthan Royals have their own worries in the bowling department. They concede the most number of runs at the death among the 8 teams. They have to find a way to slow the run flow in the later stages as it is hurting them. Chris Morris is the only bright spot in their bowling attack. In a high-scoring game against Chennai Super Kings, he finished with 4-0-33-2. He bowled two overs at the death where he was taken for 25 runs. The death bowling certainly needs to improve. Chetan Sakariya was brilliant with the new ball extracting swing. He ended up picking three wickets.
Head to Head: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders
These two teams seem to have an evenly matched history, having won ten matches each. It will interesting to see who wins and gets one ahead of their counterpart.
Weather and Pitch Report
The temperature is around 33 degrees Celsius. The precipitation chances are low and humidity will be around 61%. The pitch at Wankhede support batters with a little help to the bowlers on offer. The new ball swings. The game is expected to be high-scoring. There is negligible help for the spinners on this track.
Royal Challengers Bangalore- Daniel Sams has finished his quarantine and is back in the training camp. Although he is not expected to play as RCB might not want to change a winning combination and therefore might play the same 11.
Rajasthan Royals- Liam Livingstone has flown back to England due to bubble fatigue.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Finn Allen (wk), AB de Villiers (wk), Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat.
Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler(wk), Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (c, wk), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, KC Cariappa, Mahipal Lomror, Mayank Markande, Anuj Rawat, Kartik Tyagi, Kuldip Yadav, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Akash Singh.