Virat Kohli-led RCB has won five of its eight games, but seemingly blundered in the eight-wicket defeat to KXIP. Bangalore’s opponent Rajasthan has had a tough campaign that has been marred by top-order collapses, forcing the lower half to get it past the finish line.
RR, which has three victories from eight outings, lies in the bottom half of the points table. Against Kings XI in Sharjah, RCB made a baffling decision, sending AB de Villiers, who has been in fine form, at No.6. Left-handers Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube were promoted up the order.
The experiment didn’t work as all three batsmen struggled. While defending the total, Kohli decided to save the in-form Washington for the big-hitting Chris Gayle, who came to bat in the eighth over. That gamble didn’t pay off either as the Jamaican smashed the young off-spinner for four sixes.
However, Kohli and his men will look to shrug off the defeat. Rajasthan, which suffered a loss against Delhi Capitals (DC) in its previous game, boasts of a good batting line-up. But, it has failed to fire in unison. Jos Buttler has been unable to capitalise on his starts, scoring just one half-century in seven innings.
Ben Stokes, who has been elevated to the role of an opener, hit 41 runs versus Delhi. The Englishman would hope to do better and bring his side back to winning ways. Captain Steve Smith and Sanju Samson, who have hardly contributed in recent matches, will be keen on coming up with match-winning innings.
Rajasthan has relied on Rahul Tewatia to rescue it from precarious positions and the all-rounder managed to do that twice. Jofra Archer will spearhead the bowling unit along with the spin duo of Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal.