Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai

Pro Tip: The Royal Challengers' duo of Virat Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal could be the key to your success.

Our XI: Jos Buttler, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Jofra Archer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kartik Tyagi

Substitutes: Shreyas Gopal, Sanju Samson, Navdeep Saini, Aaron Finch

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Player availability: All players are available for selection.

Captain: Virat Kohli
Kohli might not have a great strike rate this season, but he has been getting runs. He has scored 30-plus in each of his last five innings and has converted two of those into half-centuries. He holds the big hits back in the middle overs, scoring 76.33% of his runs in non-boundaries, but has a strike rate of 220 at the death this season.

Vice-captain: Yuzvendra Chahal
The last time Chahal played against the Royals, he picked up 3 for 24. Outside Sharjah, Rajasthan have lost 13 wickets to spin this season and they average 22.69 per wicket against spin, which is the second poorest among the teams. So Chahal could play a huge role here.

Hot Picks
Jofra Archer: Archer is getting wickets with the new ball as well as at the death. He has picked up 12 wickets so far at an economy of 6.56, and three of those wickets have come in the last three games, at a strike rate of 10.3.

Chris Morris: Morris contributed with the ball in his first two games, didn't get a wicket in his third outing but contributed with the bat to make up. He is someone you cannot miss given his all-round ability. Even after a couple of games in Sharjah, he has an economy of 4.83 to go with a strike rate of 14.4.

Ben Stokes: He opens the batting and bowls at least a couple of overs, making the probability of getting points much higher. Since 2018, Stokes has opened the batting on seven occasions in all T20s scoring 234 runs at an average of 39 and strike rate of 132.95. Both are significantly better when he has opened the batting.

Differential Picks
Kartik Tyagi: Tyagi has been asked to bowl tough overs - in the powerplay and at the death - and has responded well. He has an economy of 8.66 at the death. Though the sample space is small, we back him to continue doing well at the back-end of an innings.

Washington Sundar: Washington, if used in the powerplay, is a serious threat for the opposition. He has picked up three wickets in the powerplay so far at an economy of 4.54. Overall, he has five wickets at an economy of 5.61. Given the Royals' weakness against spin, he should have a good game as well.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Both Steven Smith and Sanju Samson have had dry runs. But if the Royals bat first, consider bringing in Samson for Rahul Tewatia.

  • Shreyas Gopal has picked up only five wickets so far at an economy of 8.83 but his record against the Royal Challengers is great - 13 wickets at an economy of 5.23 and a strike rate of 7.8 since 2018. If the Royals bowl second, bring him in for Tyagi.

  • The pitch should be at its best in the first half - teams batting second have won only two out of 14 games at the venue. So make Jos Buttler your captain if the Royals bat first and Kohli your vice-captain.