Bangalore v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Bangalore

Can Royals halt Royal Challengers' home streak?

The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran

April 19, 2013

Comments: 37 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

April 20, 2013
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

A joke doing rounds in social media is that Royal Challengers Bangalore fans have no finger nails left. Four of their six games have gone to the final over, including two Super Over finishes. While it's all fine for the viewers, it's not the healthiest trend from the team's point of view. Royal Challengers are a spot behind second-placed Rajasthan Royals, their next opponents, but their journey so far has been a bit too dramatic for their own good. They made heavy weather of their chase of 153 against Delhi Daredevils when they were cruising with 24 needed at a run-a-ball with seven wickets in hand (with no help from Chris Gayle). Though Royal Challengers passed the finish line after the Super Over, captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were humble enough to admit that they needed to learn to close out games better.

Royal Challengers are yet to settle on a consistent opening combination. So far, Gayle has opened with Tillakaratne Dilshan, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. With Dilshan back in the mix after recovering from injury, they will have to let go of another overseas player, possibly Andrew McDonald, to get him in. Saurabh Tiwary, the left-handed batsman, is also back from injury, to widen their options.

Royals on the other hand are fresh from thumping Mumbai Indians, reducing a fancied batting order to 92 in one of the most one-sided games of the tournament so far. After piling on 179, Royals made Mumbai struggle early by getting the spinners on and taking the pace off the ball. At 10 for 2 in the chase, the game was all but over. Rahul Dravid, the Royals captain, said the team's positive energy made the difference. In Bangalore, they will be up against a team that's yet to lose a home game this season.

Form guide

Royal Challengers Bangalore WLWWL
Rajasthan Royals WWLWW

Players to watch

Virat Kohli was named the Royal Challengers captain this season and the additional responsibility hasn't had any negative effects on his batting, as he currently holds the Orange Cap (leading run-scorer) with 321 runs. Just as compelling as his batting is his on-field body language, which has added more spice to the tournament; his verbal face-off with Gautam Gambhir topped it all. Kohli never holds back his emotions, be it swinging his bat at thin air when dismissed, or refusing to take his pads off while sitting at the dugout. Whether it can be deemed as acceptable behaviour from a person of authority is another debate - Kohli gets fans talking, one way or another.

Ajinkya Rahane has shown that he can bat in two gears when needed. Against Kings XI Punjab, on a seaming pitch, he took on the responsibility of batting through the innings, remaining unbeaten on 34 off 42 balls in his team's successful chase of a small target. It was not the most entertaining knock, but given the conditions, it was the best knock of the evening. Against Mumbai, in a relatively pressure-free scenario, he batted through the innings and remained unbeaten on 68 off 54 balls. Two contrasting knocks, both matchwinning ones. Royal Challengers will be reminded of the century he scored against them last year when the teams met at Chinnaswamy.

Stats and trivia

  • Shane Watson needs two more sixes to become the leading six-hitter for Royals. He is currently on 60, behind Yusuf Pathan (now with Kolkata Knight Riders).
  • Royal Challengers lead the head-to-head record with five wins, while Royals have four.

Quotes

"I specifically told the management that I wanted Ravi in the side because he can be deadly with the bat too."
Virat Kohli on Ravi Rampaul's selection, ahead of players like Murali

"We don't have big names in our side, we don't have guys who can demolish teams in T20 cricket, but we are a unit that is very balanced."
Rajasthan Royals allrounder Stuart Binny

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sathishan.k on (April 20, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

good move by virat taking the dilshan is good bcz rcb has not much bating line up

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

rcb has 3 good batsman if they lose rr is definetly going to win today so rcb beter to take pujara

Posted by mdarifurrahmandany on (April 20, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

I think 100% over sure RCB can eassy win today.......... Gayle at least 5 sixes,,,,

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

although I am a dehli supporter, I want teams like Sunrisers, Kings X1, Pune and Rajastan to win this edition. makes IPL more competitive. Although in long run, it means the big players of possible winning team from mentioned above, will be poached by the big leagues for millions. Yusuf Pathan is a very good example. Hopefully sunrisers don'e lose steyn.

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Its amazing to see that Rahul Dravid still the most searched guy on Cricinfo ...

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

@Qa_ankit i really back ur thoughts.this team has produced gems where other teams are capitalising.RR u r gr8....u win or loose u will always rule the hearts.all the best to dravid , who is getting the players gelled up together as a unit.Salute to Dravid...

Posted by Gun79 on (April 20, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

I m a Sri lankn but all my money on RR. Because I know RR is the best :)

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

this is going to be a cracking game........cant wait to see dravid bat...also pujara and mayank are injured and cant play..:(

Posted by shrey123 on (April 20, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

My RR and RCB teams for today's match -

RR - Watson, Rahane, Dravid, Binny,Owais, Cooper, Yagnik, Sreesanth, Faulkner, Chandila, Trived OR Watto, Ajinkya, Wall, Baby, Stuart, Brad, Kusal, Sreesanth, Trivedi, Tait

RCB - Gayle, Mayank, Kohli, AB, Arun, Vettori, Kartik, Unadkat, Rampaul, RP,Vinay and if AB can keep Pujara for Arun

Posted by RD_TEST_CRIC_FOREVER on (April 20, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

Intresting setup......... and built up for the match............ cant wait to watch RD bat in B'lore ......... Go RR Thrash them big....... Get Gayle and virat early...... then its cake walk....... I wana see RD taking revenge in his own style........ to them who never valued him.........

Posted by Mi_Punekar on (April 20, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

For RCB foreign slot should be: Gayle, AB, Rampaul, Murali For RR foreign slot should be: Watson, Hodge, Cooper, Faulkner.... No change needed in winning combination since they are looking very balanced

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

common RR.........u can do it....

Posted by Narbavi on (April 20, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

@innocentFOX: ha ha, oh boy, you need to rewind back to RR's last 2 or 3 games, better know what faulkner did before giving your 'expert' opinions

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

RR win a lot of matches because of many players contributing to the team.Look at the other teams and we can say they depend on a couple of players to deliver the goods. CSK-hussey and dhoni RCB- gayle and kohli KXIP-hussey and mahmood DD-warner and jayawardene MI-pollard and malinga SHR-Mishra and perera PWI- smith and Mathews KKR- narine and gambhir. Also RR have never lost defending more than 160 in the five seasons of IPL. Got a feeling RR will end RCB's home streak if gayle and kohli don't fire and if RR bat first.

Posted by Mi_Punekar on (April 20, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

I will support to RR as always! Rahul seems more comfortable and more honored in RR than RCB! Today in is home ground i think half of the stadium will cheer for RR (For Dravid and Binny) If they'll be able to get Gayle early then half of the match in their pocket. Shreeshant should come in for Chavan... No change needed in foreign players.... they all performing very well

Posted by Qa_ankit on (April 20, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

From one Rajasthani who love cricket: To be very frank i don't give the hell whether our team win or loose now. Reason is i salute the motto of RR. They are the only team who is full filling the reasons of IPL. You know what let me give you one very interesting stat. Today i was choosing my fantasy team. So i went through KKR, CSK, RCB. They were having 4-5 names having 400 or 500 odd so points. So i selected 3-4 from them. Then i went to RR, all the players are having 250-350 points. I am talking new bies like Binny, Faulkner, Cooper, Rahane etc. And those who have points in 100 or80,90, they are the one who played only one game. Godness me. Its not only about one player. Its about team. And i am proud of it. Yes they look weak, but made me proud. Even Watson, Yusuf Pathan, Jadeja, They grew up by playing RR and made their names. RR create gems, other team just use it. I should say.

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

With RCB's batting lineup is a bit concern, why kohli is not playing pujara inthe eleven. isn't this surprising ?.. RCB need pujara in the middle order

Posted by Yasin123Patel on (April 20, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

@innocentfox what did faulkner wrong? He is far better player than overhype perera. Faulkner bowl very smartly, plus economical too. And taking wickets. And he is a good batsman. He has a good record against gayle in bigbash and recent ODIs in australia. Perera hve his chance and he fail to grab, but faulkner garb it. So just stop talking about perera. RR top order doing well too, so we dont need him at this stage.

Posted by DawnBreaker on (April 20, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

Dravid in Bangalore!! Its going to be a great match! Star studded RCB vs the youngsters of RR! But I reckon RCB should improve their batting line up! We saw their collapse against DD. I think RCB needs Saurabh Tiwary or Mayank. My four foriegn players are Gayle, DE Villeirs, Rampaul, Henriques.

Posted by LovedFansofIndianCricket on (April 20, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

Instead of giving another chance to R.P, RCB should give chance to Sandeep Warior, Mithun. Instead of playing Dilshan, McDonald or Murali will handy. Because Mayank is woonded and unavailable for rest of the tournament,make Vijay Zool opener, and Give Wk to A.B or K.L Rahul or Sheldon Jakson.

Posted by Narbavi on (April 20, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

@Tal_Botvinnik: Dilshan is a liability, Henriques did really well for them in the games he played, a very good batsman and medium pacer in these conditions, the 4 foreigners should be Gayle, De villiers, Henriques and Rampaul/vettor/Murali

Posted by Romenevans on (April 20, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

Hell of a match we have! It will be Young kids full of passion vs stars of RCB. I like both the teams but my heart is always with RR. Go RR, Halla Bol!

Posted by Sundara-Chandare on (April 20, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

Kusal Perera can be useful in these conditions for RR better than medium pacer faulkner.

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

Dravid VS Bangalore...!! Funny game of cricket..!!

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (April 20, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

My XI: C Gayle, T Dilshan, V Kohli, C Pujara, AB De Villiers, M Agarwal, R Rampaul, V Kumar, J Unadkat, M Karthick, Z Khan.

T Dilshan is not in form. But he is the best opener for gayle. very aggresive earlier on and a right hander.

Posted by Nike_007 on (April 20, 2013, 2:50 GMT)

This match should be better classified as Team Effort (RR) vs Individual Performance (RCB).

RR always surprised with team combination and this time also viewers can expect a few changes in playing XI. It is going to be a battle of openers. If Watson stays on crease till 10th over RR wins and the same case with Gayle.

Bowling wise RR is a better unit but still Cricket Pandit would classify RR as Underdog.

Posted by   on (April 20, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

Yes,I guess it's time to bring in Saurabh Tiwary and either Dilshan or Henriques.Possibly Pujara as well.Can't always rely on the big three to perform.

Posted by rtom on (April 20, 2013, 0:37 GMT)

I still believe Watson not performing at his best. Not sure what is lacking ?? luck ? more time in the middle ? If he plays 10 overs atlest, then a bog total for RR is for sure. abs90, Rahul Dravid is always a homeboy at bangalore. he would definitly want to show his best performance at his home ground and in return fans would definitly love to see him play better ! I am a follower of RR(being from banglaore) just because of DRahul Dravid and Watto...

Posted by r0adrunn3r on (April 19, 2013, 21:37 GMT)

RCB need to give Dilshan atleast one more chance. He was in terrific form before IPL and if he finds it ,that would be the much needed boost RCB are looking for. With Tiwary in, the flimsy middle order might get some support. They need to steer clear of Dan christian and Mcdonald. Can someone please tell me why they are not playing Henriques? He did bat well and did a pretty decent job with the ball in the games he was picked. Also, when can we expect to see Pujara?

Posted by husseybukhari on (April 19, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

watto should do justice to his talent. He has all the oppurtunity to prove why he is australias vice captain, lets just hope her does

Posted by   on (April 19, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

Just waiting for a big knock from WATTO ....!! he has showed some awesome sign getting back into form in last two encounter just waiting that WATTO get better of RCB at their home..>!!

GO WELL RAJASTHAN ROYALS #hallabol

Posted by ThyrSaadam on (April 19, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

Well its going to be a good game, but RCB have some problems with their 4th international player. They need to decide on who and perhaps give Vetorri a chance ahead of the two Ozs tried thus far. Atleast would bring in more blowing options. The batting looks a little thin, but they should be fine once Tiwary, and Pujara return from injuries. But this game is going to be a close, and for all those fans of Dravid (me included) i just hope he does well , but RCB end up winning. Dravid record in Bangalore is somewhat underwhelming though.

Posted by   on (April 19, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

Royals are one team who can break RCB's home advantage, with karnataka players like Dravid and Binny in the team they know of conditions in bangalore.

Posted by abs90 on (April 19, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Dravid getting back home...will he have home advantage here as well?? As a RR fan I hope so..am pretty sure banglore crowd would love to see dravid play a class knock..

Posted by   on (April 19, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

Is itching to see saurabh tiwary in the team

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