RR, RCB In A Battle Royale For The First Points > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - RR, RCB in a royal battle for first points
Disappointments and controversy are all Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore have got out of their IPL 2019 campaigns thus far. Both sit at the bottom of the eight-team pile, having lost all their three games up until now, and both have been at the receiving end of controversial line-calls that potentially were game-changers. The narrative for one team will change on Tuesday, with the winner of the this "Battle Royal" picking up their first points of the season in Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
RCB have seen the two extremes of the scoring spectrum so far, folding for 70 at a rank-turner in Chennai in the season opener and then conceding this edition's record score of 231 just recently in Hyderabad. In between was a last-ball thriller against Mumbai Indians at home where the Virat Kohli-led team again ended on the wrong side of the result.
Kohli's captaincy has come under the scanner as a result, but the more pressing issues at the moment are an unsettled batting order and the lack of a leader for their bowling attack. The Bangalore-based side has tried three different opening partners for Parthiv Patel in as many fixtures, including skipper Kohli, but haven't found much success with any of the pairs and the lack of clarity continues. With perhaps the exception of Yuzvendra Chahal, RCB can rarely rely on their bowling options and the absence of a death bowler in really hurting the side. Though Kohli warned against wholesale changes, RCB might continue with their trial & error ways to find an eleven that's close to perfect.
On the other hand, RR have been anything but lucky so far. First was the Jos Buttler Mankading incident, then they ran into a rampaging SRH batting and last night they came within striking distance of beating the defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their own backyard. This is, however, not to suggest they don't have problems within.
Jaydev Unadkat has been expensive, and not just in the auctions. In fact, RR have been guilty of hiding him on the field for at least the first 12 overs and only once he has been bowled out. Another one of their prized possessions, Ben Stokes had disappointed both with the bat and the ball barring the 46 last night that kept them in the chase till the last over.
On the batting front too, skipper Ajinkya Rahane's not-so-rapid starts are not just pegging them back in the powerplay overs but also wasting a regular opener in Rahul Tripathi down the order for the second successive season. Stokes and Jofra Archer's counterattacking partnership in the narrow loss to CSK would erase some worry lines but RR have been hurt due to the lack of a proper finisher. Ashton Turner might be the solution here, but that forces out a reliable batsman in Steve Smith.
When: Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challenges Bangalore, Match 14 at 8pm IST
Where: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
What to expect: Bright and clear day with no chances of rain, and a wicket conducive to run scoring.
Rajasthan Royals: Ashton Turner has linked up with the squad and RR might be tempted to bring him in to make up for the lack of a proper finisher down the order. In which case, Smith would likely move to the bench. Varun Aaron might be an option to consider in the bowling department, for either of their two expensive pacers - Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni.
Probable XI: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson, Steven Smith/Ashton Turner, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal
Royal Challengers Bangalore: What RCB lack is a reliable, gun pacer and the visitors might want to go with Nathan Coulter-Nile or Tim Southee in place of Colin de Grandhomme.
Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Moeen Ali, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme/Tim Southee/Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prayas Barman, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj/Washington Sundar
Did you know?
Virat Kohli will be leading RCB for the 100th time. Among the eight captains to lead in 50+ matches in IPL, Kohli's win % of 45.45 is the poorest.
Kohli's average of 21.27 against RR is the lowest for him against any opponent. In six innings in Jaipur, Kohli hasn't crossed 40 and has a SR of 94.74.
Jofra Archer has an ER of 6.33 in the first three games while the rest of RR pacers cumulatively concede at 11.26 per over.
What they said?
If we win the smaller moments in T20s we will do well. We have played well in the last three games and hopefully with some luck we'll be able to turn it around - Ajinkya Rahane
The pitch will be nice in Jaipur against the Royals. We need to bring our A-game, like we did against Mumbai and play with that kind of intensity. If we go through the motions, we need to do the regular basic stuff, and get results our way and start winning games in the tournament - the next game should be that game for us. - Virat Kohli
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