The Rajasthan Royals will look to end the five-match losing steak they currently have against the Royal Challengers Bangalore when the two teams square off this afternoon at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
We’ll be previewing this match and providing betting tips and the players to watch.
What more can be said about RCB’s disaster against the Sunrisers when they were bowled out for 68. Only Glenn Maxwell (12) and Suyash Prabhudessai (15) reached double digits, the former being the only RCB batsmen who went at a strike rate over 100.
In their previous encounter three weeks ago, Royal Challengers overcame a middle-order slump to chase down 170. Royals will be itching to pull one back, and on current form, they stand a very good chance of doing that.
The form of Virat Kohli is a real concern for RCB, he has now failed to reach fifty in 13 straight IPL matches, and not since 2010 when he went 18 innings without notching up a half-century has he suffered such a form slump. The reasoning for his IPL struggles is peculiar as he has actually enjoyed five scores over fifty from his last nine T20I innings.
What a season it’s been so far for Rajasthan Royals, with Jos Buttler and Yuzvendra Chahal pivotal to their superb start. Orange Cap holder Buttler has been almost unplayable so far and has hit back-to-back centuries (103 & 116), while Chahal’s current Purple Cap effort includes 18 wickets at an average of 11.33, with at least one wicket in every match played.
An interesting fact about the Royals this year is that while they are conceding a league-low average of just 42.43 runs in the powerplay, they are ranked last for most runs allowed per game with 180.43. Their last three matches have seen them allow scores of 207/8, 210 all out and 192/4, with Obed McCoy’s 95 runs conceded during that period from just 40 deliveries bowled an obvious concern.
These are two very good sides on paper who have both started the season well. If you are to bet on a winner, bet on a wounded RCB side to get the victory.
The last two first-innings scores at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium have been 222 & 189.
There has never been three IPL first innings in a row at this ground over 180.
Rajasthan only have a 3-9 W/L record against RCB when losing the toss.
Sanju Samson has scored over ten in four straight matches now and not since IPL 2018 has he had five or more double digits innings in a row.
Harshal Patel has been RCB’s best bowler four times this year, but only once has he also had the best figures of the match.
Trent Boult has never dismissed Virat Kohli in T20s, conceding 60 runs from seven overs.
Glenn Maxwell scores at a staggering 12.54 runs per over against the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin in all T20s, amassing 115 runs (for two dismissals) from 9.1 overs.
Players to Watch
Of the last eight matches that Mohammed Siraj has not bowled out his full quota of overs, only once has he managed to take a wicket. In comparison, he has taken at least one wicket six times in the last eight matches he has bowled all four. Hetmyer’s 166 runs are the most between overs 16-20 this IPL. Karthik is second with 153 runs. So in many ways, this will be a contest between two of the best finishers this season.
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