Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2015 Eliminator Preview: RCB flair meets RR consistency
On paper neither side looks unbeatable. Both are quite top-heavy but have bright young talent in the mix as well.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will do battle with Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the eliminator of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at Pune on Wednesday. This is RCB’s first playoff since 2011 edition of IPL, so there will be some added pressure on them to perform. IPL 2015 Highest run-scorer: List of best batsmen in IPL 8
The rain has followed RCB relentlessly, shortening three games and raining off two. They will be hoping that it does not play spoilsport once again. Assuming they get to play a full 20-over match, RCB will feel their batting has the upper hand. Their top three of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, and AB de Villiers have done well. On most occasions at least one of them have gone on to get a substantial score, while the rest have batted around them. IPL 2015 Highest wicket-taker: List of best bowlers in IPL 8
Dinesh Karthik remains their weak link with the bat. The seasoned wicketkeeper has gone the entire season without getting a big score, and while his ‘keeping has been largely efficient, it is his batting that has let RCB down. Meanwhile, youngster Mandeep Singh has also misfired more often than not, though he did play one match-winning innings as well. Sarfaraz Khan has obvious potential, but he might not be ready for the big league yet. His presence in the side bodes well for him and RCB for the future, but he is yet to deliver on his promise. IPL 2015 Most 6s and 4s: List of most dangerous batsmen in IPL 8
With the ball, RCB are decent without being outstanding. Mitchell Starc has been excellent, and he has got good backup in the form of Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, and David Wiese. The fifth bowler’s slot has been a bit of a headache, and RCB could consider going back to Iqbal Abdulla. IPL 2015 Leading fielders: List of Best fielders in IPL 8
For RR, their opening duo has scored the bulk of the runs. Ajinkya Rahane sits at the No. 2 spot on the list of leading run-scorers. Shane Watson has been in good form as well, having scored a century in RR’s last match. Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, and Steven Smith have all done well at No. 3, though the constant shuffling of the batting order has hampered RR.
RR’s bowling has looked suspect as well. James Faulkner has been in poor form with both bat and ball, while the usually dependable Pravin Tambe has not clicked this season. Chris Morris has been their one bright light, but he has not got a lot of support. IPL 2015 most dismissals by wicketkeeper: List of best wicketkeeper in IPL 8
On paper neither side looks unbeatable. Both are quite top-heavy but have bright young talent in the mix as well. Both teams have momentum going into the eliminator, but while RR won their last game, RCB’s was a wash-out. That might not hamper the Kohli-led side though. On the whole, it is a tough match to call. Either way, it is likely to be a close contest. Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015: Complete coverage
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Manvinder Bisla, Rilee Rossouw, Sarfaraz Khan, Iqbal Abdulla, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mitchell Starc, Harshal Patel, Varun Aaron, Subramaniam Badrinath, Sean Abbott, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Darren Sammy, Vijay Zol, Jalaj Saxena, David Wiese, Sandeep Warrier, Nic Maddinson, Sreenath Aravind, Shishir Bhavane, Ashok Dinda, Abu Nechim Ahmed.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (c), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Brainder Sran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pradeep Sahu.
Time: 20.00 IST | 14.30 GMT
(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)