The thing about IPL is that it does not take long for a team to get into a rich vein or form, and at the same time, it only takes a defeat or two for a team to come crashing down.
Both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals have had mixed IPL so far, having played two matches, won one and lost one. Neither team has shown its full potential, but it has been clear from what we have seen so far that both RCB and the Royals have glaring weaknesses.
RCB have a very good top-4. But the question is what after that? Their young player, Sarfraz Khan, about whom a lot was spoken about, looks completely out of sorts at this level. The other young batsman, Mandeep Singh, just doesn’t look good enough either.
That means there is always a huge pressure on the top-4. Of the top-4, Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum have been hit or miss. It’s down to Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, really.
All the opposition has to do is to get Virat and AB out, and regardless of the match situation, RCB will be in trouble. Indeed, even if there are, say 40 runs to get from the last 5 overs, one cannot count on RCB getting them if Virat and AB aren’t at the crease.
The good news is that the RCB pace attack looks good, with Umesh Yadav bowling with fire. Umesh has looked the best fast bowler in this season of the Indian Premier League so far. We hope he carries his good form forward into the forthcoming England series as well.
Royals will have an edge in today’s game because of a young player by the name of Jofra Archer. Watch out for him. The lad can bowl fast and bat like a demon, and he is a super fielder too, much like Andre Russell. We really hope that Archer sets the IPL on fire as we need new heroes in this tournament.
There is also a chance that Heinrich Klaasen, a big hitting South African batsman/wicketkeeper could get a chance to play for the Royals. He was phenomenal in the ODI series against India and one can’t understand why he hasn’t played yet for the Royals team.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Brendon McCullum, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Sarfaraz Khan, 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Chris Woakes, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Kulwant Khejroliya, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 2 D’Arcy Short, 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Rahul Tripathi, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 K Gowtham, 8 Shreyas Gopal, 9 Dhawal Kulkarni, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Ben Laughlin/Jofra Archer
Watch Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Rajasthan Royals this evening at 4 pm LIVE on STAR SPORTS!