Match 55 Preview: Royal vs Royals Can be a Challenging IPL treat!!

When Rajasthan Royals play Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last home game at Jaipur, IPL fans can expect a treat as both the teams have players who can devastate (Watson, Taylor, Gayle, Kohli, AB), magicians (Warne and Vettori) whose balls can be tried for a hit only if one wants to committ suicide. They met last in search of winning momentum. Now they meet eyeing the knckout spot. RR must win to stay alive, while RCB needs just 2 more wins in 4 matches placed 4th at Points Table.

History
Both have seen the highs and lows in IPL. While Rajasthan Royals have won the tournament in 2008, Royal Challengers Bangalore has been in the final once and were stopped in semifinal in 2010. Even among each other they share 3-wins each. Interestingly last two matches were won by Challengers. 2011 saw a weak RCB escaping the strong Royals at Bangalore due to rain.

2011 Performances

They drubbed their prey Deccan Chargers easily and then went on to thump Delhi Daredevils. But after that they had to play two back-to-back matches against Kolkata Knight Riders. In third match, their record of defending totals above 145 runs was broken against KKR, and in fourth match at Edens, they scored the third-ever lowest score of IPL, losing it againt to KKR. Kings XI had further humiliation in store for RR. Last match not only saw them humiliating Kochi Tuskers, but more important saw Watson, Warne and Dravid performance that promises bigger show in future matches. Botha, their best batsman with his allround performance drubbed the invincible appearing Mumbai Indians, when Royals bowled them for one of the lowest IPL scores. Then they went on to drub Pune Warriors at home, before being knocked down convincingly by CSK in their last match. In the back-to-back match, CSK breached the Jaipur forte too.

RCB has seized the losing streak of 3 consecutive losses, after winnning the first game against Kochi Tuskers. In the second match they were thumped by Mumbai Indians. Then failed to chase high target against Deccan Chargers, and lost without fight against Chennai Super Kings. After the washed-out match against Rajasthan Royals, Gayle-force thwarted the strong Knight Riders. The top-order ensured another smooth victory against Pune Warriors. Gayle’s record century and all-round performance ensured another thumping win against Kings XI in the last match. Gayle’s record blast helped another easy victory against Kochi Tuskers.

Player’s Performances in 2011
RCB Player’s performance index indicate 45 wickets for bowlers in 10 matches, one of which was washed out. With Gayle’s two centuries, 5 of their batsmen are in 100-club now with Kohli leading the chart and Gayle, AB de Villiers, Dilshan and Saurabh Tiwary following him.

Rajasthan Royals player performance index shows better batting, with five batsmen touching 100-mark, and the highest is just 252 by unlikely Dravid. In a team where Watson and Taylor were supposed to rule, Botha is placed at second position, and Taylor and Watson have not even touched 200 runs. Their bowlers have taken 47 wickets in 11 matches, with Warne being the top ten bowler of the tournament so far.

Head-to-Head
2008

    RR def RCB by 7 Wickets
    RR def RCB by 65 runs

2009

    RCB def RR by 75 Runs
    RR def RCB by 7 Wickets

2010

    RCB def RR by 10 Wickets
    RCB def RR by 5 Wickets

2011

    RR Vs RCB NR

IPL Performances

    In 2008, on their way to championship RR won record 13 matches and lost just 3, while RCB finished second from the bottom winning 4 matches and Lost 10.
    In 2009, RCB finished 2nd best registering 9 wins and 7 losses.South Africa did not suit RR and they managed just 5 wins, Lost 8, and 1 was abandoned.
    In 2010, RCB finished 3rd winning 8 and losing 8 games, while RR again failed to enter knockout and could win only 6 and Lost 8 matches.

Overall Performance
RR has a positive win loss ratio, making them one of the successful teams of IPL in last three editions. They have Won 24, Lost 19, and one match was abandoned.
Due to the poor performance in 2008, RCB has more losses than wins, winning 21 and losing 25.

Who Will Win Today!!
Gayle’s firework has changed the equations of tournament. RCB is considered a force now. RR defeated a weak RCB in first match, now RCB is the favorite to win. Yet, RR at home has defeated even Mumbai Indians. CSK escaped probably because of the sudden decision to change the pitch, and RCB may too if the pitch served is the same one as they have better players to perform on faster pitch, batsmen and bowlers both. But, if RR gets the original HOME pitch, RCB and Gayle may dance to Warne’s tune, specially when the game is his last one at home, as player and captain of Rajasthan Royals.

Key Battles
Watson vs Gayle
Royals has been literally praying for Watson’s good form. If he clicks no bowling attack can stop him. Unfortunately, even after playing so many games, he looks lost in Disneyland. Now with three must-win matches left and a toast to be raised for the departing captain Warne, who played a key role in making his international career glorious, Watson may deliver showing why he is the star, specially for Royals. Gayle on the other hand was discarded at National level, joined the bandwagon late at RCB and played match-winning knocks from his first match. Just in 5 matches he has been MOM twice and contributed effectively in last 5 consecutive matches. He is rising faster with every match towards the Orange Cap, which holders have earned after playing double the match he has played so far. The contest between the international star (Watson) but IPL failure, and international failure but IPL hero (Gayle) may decide the match as both can devastate with bat, and perform well with ball too.

Gayle/AB/Kohli vs Tait and Co
The fast bowlers of RR have impressed. Tait, Trivedi and Singh have a good record so far. Watson joining them has strengthened the bowling attack. But RCB is not one-man army. If two of the three marauders – Dilshan, AB de Villiers and Kohli succeeds, RR would be sent home before the final overs.

Warne Vs Vettori
Both are captains with good results behind them. While Vettori has international certified captain, Warne in IPL showed how Australia missed one of the best international captain. Even in IPL as players both have contrasting results. Warne has won MOM twice. Vettori is the most economical bowler of the tournament so far, winning the match even with bat once.

RCB Squad
Batsman: AB de Villiers (WK), Luke Pomersbach, Rilee Rossouw, Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Muralidharen Gautam, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara,
Allrounder: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jonathan Vandiar, Chris Gayle
Bowlers: Charl Langeveldt, Johan van der Wath, Zaheer Khan, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, Nuwan Pradeep, Abrar Kazi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ryan Ninan

Rajasthan Royals Squad
Batsman: Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Swapnil Asnodkar, Amit Singh, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Faiz Fazal, Amit Paunikar, Ajinkya Rahane, Pinal Shah (WK), Dishant Harendra Yagnik (WK)
Allrounder: Shane Watson, Paul Collingwood, Dinesh Salunkhe
Bowlers: Shane Warne (Captain), Shaun Tait, Stuart Binny, Aditya Dole, Nayan Doshi, Samad Fallah, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Pankaj Singh, Abhishek Raut, Siddharth Trivedi

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