The Royal Challengers Bangalore were on the receiving end of quite a bit of ridicule for having gone all out to
acquire Glenn Maxwell in the auction. Three games in, the joke is on those skeptics as both RCB and Maxwell find themselves in a happy territory. RCB have cruised to three wins on the trot, the first time they have managed to begin a season in such fashion. Maxwell, meanwhile, has lived up to his ‘X-factor’ tag and has fit into what the franchise needed in the middle-order, quite immaculately.
It’s the first time since IPL 2014 that he has scored back-to-back fifties and has not just played his role of a middle-overs spin-hitter to perfection, but also
provided stability with AB de Villiers, who’s been at his destructive best. RCB were impressive on the slow tracks
of Chepauk where other teams struggled to get a grip on conditions, and will now move to the pacier ones of the Wankhede for their second leg, where they take on the Rajasthan Royals first-up.
Rajasthan have had contrasting fortunes, being the second-worst in the death overs so far [conceding 12-an-over twice] and losing wickets upfront – two factors that contributed to their wooden-spoon finish last year. In IPL 2020, RR never batted out a Powerplay without losing a wicket, with as many as 29 falling inside
first six overs in 14 games.
This time, they’ve already lost seven wickets in the same phase. They managed just one win in three games on the back of some brilliance from their South African duo of David Miller and Chris Morris. They will need more than
just the two to fire if are they are to finish any higher than they did last year. More importantly, they will need their
skipper Sanju Samson to step up. After his century in the opening game, he has scores of 4 and 1.
When: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, April 22, 2021
Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
What to expect: Four out of the seven games played here this season so far have been won by the teams batting
second. It’s typical of the ground where dew comes into play and chasing is preferred. It will be a high-scorer like
most games at the Wankhede.
Head To Head: RCB 10: RR 10; NR -2
RR lost both their fixtures against RCB last year in the UAE, with Yuzvendra Chahal starring in one and de Villiers taking the chase deep in the second with an unbeaten 55 off 22 balls.
Probable 11s :
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal. RAJASTHAN ROYALS: Jos Buttler, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (c &wk), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal/Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman.