RCB bank on home advantage
Match factsSunday, April 15, Bangalore
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals have lost two consecutive games. In their last outing, Royal Challengers suffered a freak loss at the hands of Albie Morkel in Chennai, while Royals failed to put enough runs in Kolkata. For both teams, their last defeats have come in away games* and therefore, Royal Challengers playing in Bangalore would hold an edge.
The venue is not the only difference between the teams. Royal Challengers have a far more potent line up of international players - Indian and foreign. Compare that to Royals and they have Ankeet Chavan, Ashok Menaria, Amit Singh and Shreevats Goswami to challenge Daniel Vettori, Saurabh Tiwary, Zaheer Khan and Virat Kohli. Man to man, there is a massive gap in experience. However, the Royals have fought hard, even in their losses and at the helm, they have a relaxed Rahul Dravid who has been a part of a number of upset wins in his career.
In the last game played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Muttiah Muralitharan and Vettori derailed Delhi Daredevils' chase with incisive spells. Royals have used a combination of spinners in their last two games. They might want to keep it that way and not allow any pace to Royal Challengers' ensemble of stroke makers. For the home side, Tillakaratne Dilshan will struggle to find a place in the eleven.
Players to watchVirat Kohli had a forgettable outing in his last game but he still managed to score 57 runs, not fluent, but still important runs. He is known to be a fierce competitor and he would quickly want to acquit himself from the ignominy of bowling that 28-run over.
If Johan Botha opens the bowling, which he often does, his duel with Chris Gayle could decide the rest of the game. He has bowled with control in the four games, but has managed to pick up only two wickets. Just one big wicket here and his captain wouldn't complain.
2011 head-to-headLast year, Royal Challengers demolished the Royals in Jaipur by nine wickets, courtesy of a 44-ball 76 from Gayle. The other match in Bangalore was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Stats and trivia
- Johan Botha has bowled 13 balls to Chris Gayle in IPL and has given away 21 runs. Four off them in overthrows and another four off a dropped catch.
- Cheteshwar Pujara has played six innings for Royal Challengers and has scored 51 runs.
- Royal challengers have played Royals seven times and hold a 4-3 advantage.
Quotes" We had about 40 runs [in last two overs]. We thought even if they get 20 runs off Virat, they will have 20 runs to get. Unfortunately that over went for 29 runs (sic. 28), so they had about 15 runs to get [off the last over]."
Muttiah Muralitharan dissects what went wrong in those last two overs against Chennai Super Kings
"We are trying to make them [young Indian bowlers] learn as quickly as possible. We have not been outclassed at all. Credit to youngsters who are fighting hard. We just hope to come over the line soon"
Rahul Dravid has come out in support of his inexperienced attack
April 14: 13:40 GMT The article earlier stated that RCB won their home game. This has been corrected.
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.