Having already beaten the Rajasthan side at home, the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to complete a double over Rahul Dravid’s team. But, on current form, that will be a huge ask.
The home side will be high on confidence after a thumping victory over the Hyderabad Sunrisers at home on Saturday while the Royal Challengers Bangalore were thoroughly outplayed by the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium.
This tie will be the clash of two of the most devastating batsmen in the season so far — Chris Gayle and Shane Watson. Gayle may have failed to perform against the Mumbai Indians, but it would be preposterous to discount the big-hitting West Indian who created a handful of records with his unbeaten 175 against the Pune Warriors India. On the other hand, Watson scored 101 against the Chennai Super Kings and followed it up with a swashbuckling 98 not out in the victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Dravid will pin a lot of hopes on spinner Ajit Chandila to come good early on and get rid of Gayle before he does sizeable damage. A confident James Faulkner will be crucial as he has picked up wickets fairly regularly throughout the tournament. With Rajasthan’s bowling unit performing so well against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, it will be interesting to see if the likes of Shaun Tait and Shantakumaran Sreesanth are recalled into the playing XI.
As for Bangalore, skipper Kohli needs to believe that at the position they are, they need to approach this one game at a time and not panic over one big defeat. They could be boosted by the return of Murali Kartik, who missed the previous game due to illness. An out-of-sorts Tillakaratane Dilshan may make way for allrounder Moises Henriques.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have been phenomenal in the tournament so far and need to prove their worth away from home, if they are to sustain at the top of the table. A win against another strong home side Rajasthan Royals could augur well for them. It is going to be closely-contested match and at the moment Rajasthan hold the slightest edge possible due to the home factor.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Probable): Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Saurabh Tiwary, Moises Henriques, Arun Karthik (wk), Murali Kartik, Ravi Rampaul, R Vinay Kumar, RP Singh, Jaidev Unadkat
Time: 16.00 IST | 10.30 GMT
(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is an Editorial consultant at CricketCountry and a sports fanatic, with a soft corner for cricket. After studying journalism for two years, came the first big high in his professional life – the opportunity to interview his hero Adam Gilchrist and talking about his magnificent 149 in the 2007 World Cup final. While not following cricket, he is busy rooting for Chelsea FC)