Rajasthan Royals had a wooden-spoon finish in 2020, and even as they made a bombastic start to their campaign in 2021 by almost chasing down a mammoth of a target against Punjab Kings, a depressingly familiar pattern has reemerged in the encounters that have followed. They do have a win against the Delhi Capitals, thanks to David Miller and Chris Morris, who bailed them out from 42/5 in a chase of 147, but the old agonies have not left Sanju Samson’s men.
They have lost two of the three fixtures so far, their middle-order crumbled like a cookie against Super Kings, and in hindsight, they could have been better-placed had Samson managed to put a couple of yards more behind his last-ball strike against the Punjab Kings, but it was not meant to be. What has also not meant to be for either the Royals or their new skipper, is being consistent. To speak of old woes, Samson has been guilty – for quite some time now – of making incredible starts before slumping just as incredibly.
For someone of his caliber, it is criminal to throw wickets the way he does. After a blitzkrieg of a knock in the team’s opener, two single-digit scores have followed. As if the added burden of leading his side was not enough, he is left with a challenge to fill a Ben Stokes-sized void. The team possesses some stellar short-format wonders in Jos Buttler and Chris Morris, but none of them have the burden to lead. Samson keeps too. So he is a man of many roles, but above all, the Royals need Samson, the batsman, the most.
Against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, whom they face tomorrow, will be a good occasion for Samson to fire. RCB has been off to an unprecedented start. Not once before in the 14-year history of the league did they win three on the bounce towards the start. That they have managed the hat-trick without much contribution from either their talismanic skipper, Virat Kohli, or their rising star, Devdutt Padikkal, is one reason for all other teams to beware of the Challengers this year.
While the genius of AB de Villiers has always been to their rescue, the addition of Glenn Maxwell, who has been on a roll so far, has ticked the box that RCB most desperately wanted to tick: batting muscle in middle-overs. One of the other burning issues from the past for them has been the control with the ball at the death, and the unheralded talent of Harshal Patel has boded well for them there.
So no surprise, RCB has bossed the Chennai leg, winning three in three, and now move to Mumbai, where the shorter boundaries and better batting surfaces will give them more reasons to smile for the next two games.
Pitch and conditions
The surfaces at the Wankhede have been a bit of an enigma. A couple of high-scoring encounters, two low-scoring ones after that, and two high again. If the teams get the flat, dry track, there is nothing that could stop a mountain of runs from being scored.
Although, the dynamics change drastically on surfaces like one Chennai and Punjab played on, where the ball nipped around early on a slightly sticky and greenish track. Either way, neither of these teams have any scarcity of hitters to counter the conditions. Teams will prefer chasing, despite the Royals’ collapse against Super Kings.
Playing combination for RCB vs RR
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Given Samson and Buttler’s struggle against leg-spin, Yuzvendra Chahal will have a bigger role to play. Kohli is yet to fire this season. Despite opening, he has not occupied the crease long enough.
Predicted XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian/Rajat Patidar/Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj
Liam Livingstone has cited bio-bubble fatigue as a reason to fly back home. In Stokes’s absence, Jos Buttler has taken up the role of the opener well, although his partner Manan Vohra is yet to justify his spot. With Yashasvi Jaiswal waiting in the wings, he needs to get rolling soon. Chennai’s spinners wreaked havoc in the previous game, which might be a reason to give Shreyas Gopal a look in place of one of the pacers.
Predicted XI: Jos Buttler, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (C & WK), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat/Shreyas Gopal, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
RCB vs RR Head to Head
Played – 23 | Royal Challengers Bangalore – 10 | Rajasthan Royals– 10 |N/R – 3
RCB vs RR Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 7:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar
IPL 2021 Whatsapp Group link
Join our IPL 2021 WhatsApp group to get the latest news related to sports and this IPL 2021 will go crazier. You may only join this group at your own risk of privacy. If you have no objection to your privacy then Join Now.
We don't like you to share anything else rather than Ipl or sports, if you go beyond our rule you will be removed from the group without any prior notice.
IPL 2021 Facebook Group link
If you are a creator and want to share your news from IPL 2021 or related to sports then you may join our exclusive Facebook group. Please review your privacy at your own risk JOIN NOW
Who are your favorite team and your favorite player of this year do let us know in the comment below?