First win on the cards as Rajasthan Royals host Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur tonight. Both sides currently sit at the bottom of the pile having lost 3 games each.
The “Battle of Royals” has become the “Battle to avoid wooden spoon” as both RCB and RR, currently sitting in the bottom of the pile face off today in a bid to claim their first points.
The tournament has so for been nothing but misery for both the Royals. Apart from losing all the 3, both the sides have also been a victim to controversial decisions.
Doubts over Virat Kohli’s credentials to lead his side towards success still looms large. Becoming all-out for 70, conceding 231 in one innings and losing a last ball thriller, RCB have seen it all.
The side now needs to recoup and tweak their match preparations as soon as possible, if not they will only be seen biting the dust.
This RCB side, who think that they have been the worst side this season travel to Jaipur where their hosts have had a similar journey so far.
RR’s loses so far can be termed unlucky as their side was seen on the wrong end despite putting up a solid show on display.
While they collapsed in chases vs KXIP and CSK, even a Samson century wasn’t enough to propel them to a win vs Sunrisers. Even though they lost only closely fought encounters, the side still have a plenty of concerns up their sleeve.
It looks as though RR are forced to play Jaidev Unadkat after picking him for an expensive price at the auctions. The Saurashtra pacer has been very poor so far, leaking runs at an economy of 12.
Added to this is Ajinkya Rahane, whose batting is just too slow for the format. Rahane playing as an opener also means that Tripathi isn’t being used to his full potential.
Ashton Turner had a wonderful series vs India last month and might be an option that can be considered during team selection.
Jaidev Unadkat has been under performing so far this campaign and his position in the side has come to a scrutiny. He may be overlooked for Varun Aaron, who they picked up this auction.
Expected 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.
Kohli’s gamble of playing Prayas Barman didn’t pay off as the youngster was taken to the cleaners by both Bairstow and Warner. Despite such an outing, Kohli will be tempted to give him another go.
The side will be boosted by the return of Nathan Coulter Nile from international duty.. Him or Southee may replace Colin de Grandhomme to add that extra fire to the pace attack.
Batting line-up might most likely return to its usual structure after Hetmyer failed to justify his promotion as an opener vs SRH.
Expected 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.