IPL 2018, Match 53, RR vs RCB, Match Prediction: Who will win the match today, Rajasthan Royals or Royal Challengers Bangalore?
The Challengers are on a role coming into the fag end of the IPL campaign.
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Following 52 games of the Indian Premier League, 2018 (IPL) done and dusted and we still don’t know which 4 teams are qualifying to the playoffs. The first two spots in the table are taken as the Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad have made their entry to the next round, but there is a very close contest going on for the remaining two spots with five teams in contention.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals are the two among those five teams and they face each other in a virtual eliminator tomorrow at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. It’s the same scenario for both RR and RCB. While a defeat will send them home, a win will not quite guarantee their place in the playoffs and they will have to further wait for the results of the next couple of games to know their fate.
Pitch and Conditions
The Sawai Mansingh pitch has not turned out to be as flat this season as it was in some of the previous seasons. It has been two-paced and with the ground being decent sized as well, batting has not been a walk in the park. Runs have been hard to come by and hence the par score generally has only been around 160-165 in the majority of the games.
A two-paced deck is anticipated tomorrow as well and given that it’s an afternoon game and the dew won’t be a massive factor, batting first will probably be the right choice. Not only the wicket will get tougher and tougher for batting as the game progresses, runs on the board always help in a pressure game.
Probable Changes – D’Arcy Short and Heinrich Klaasen in, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes out
Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have been picked in the England squad for the first test match against Pakistan and they have left for national duty which means Rajasthan will have to make two forced changes and they in all likelihood will get D’Arcy Short and Heinrich Klaasen in.
While Klaasen hasn’t had too many opportunities to showcase his skills so far, it’s not the case with Short. The Aussie left-hander has been given a fair number of games, but he hasn’t delivered the goods. Rajasthan will want him to come to the party tomorrow and will expect a handy contribution from Klaasen as well who will probably bat at no. 5.
Predicted XI: Rahul Tripathi, D’Arcy Short, Ajinkya Rahane (C), Sanju Samson, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Stuart Binny, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Anureet Singh
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Probable Changes – No Change
RCB should go with the same team again as the combination is working nicely for them at the moment. While Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are smashing it as usual, what has been pleasing for the visitors is the way some of the other players have stepped up to the plate in the last few games.
Moeen Ali was slotted at no. 4 against Hyderabad last night and he put serious impetus into the innings in the middle overs with some crisp strokeplay. Colin de Grandhomme finished the innings expertly too coming in at no. 6 and these two should hold the same spots in the batting order.
Predicted XI: Parthiv Patel, (WK), Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
The RCB bowlers took some tap at the hands of Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey at Chinnaswamy, but those were tough bowling conditions with a lot of dew around. However, the way they came back in the last 4 overs and kept their nerves under pressure to defend the target was commendable. Virat Kohli will again rely on the Siraj-Southee duo to control the damage in the death while looking up to Umesh to provide him early breakthroughs.
Rajasthan’s trump-card will be Jofra Archer and Ish Sodhi, two experienced T20 bowlers who have been in pressure situations in the past in other leagues around the world. Both of them are blessed with high-level skills and carry the X-factor. Their 8-overs will hold the key for the hosts.
Probable Top Performers
Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals), Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Head to Head
Matches – 17, Rajasthan Royals – 8, Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8, N/R – 1
The timing of the match: 04:00 pm IST
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports Select 1
Online – Jio TV, Hotstar
The prediction is for the Rajasthan Royals to beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore in this match.