RR are seventh in the league while RCB find themselves at the bottom.
Both Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be looking to notch up their maiden victory in this edition of the Indian Premier League when they clash at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium on April 2.
RR are seventh in the league, while RCB find themselves at the foot of the points table. Only Net Run Rate separate the two sides. While RR have a NRR of -0.575, RCB have a shocking NRR of -2.413.
The two sides have endured a difficult start to their campaign. The good news is, the match gives either side an opportunity to record first win of the season, while for the other side, the season will only go from bad to worse.
RR head into the match after they suffered an 8-run loss against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in match 12 of the season. On a slow turning wicket of Chepauk, CSK captain MS Dhoni put up a vintage show (75 off 46) to help his team put up a competitive 175/5 in 20 overs when at one stage the team was struggling at 27/3. Following the Dhoni classic, the CSK bowlers restricted RR to 167/8 in 20 overs. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir and Dwayne Bravo picked 2 wickets each.
RCB were given a hiding by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their previous match. On a batting friendly wicket at Hyderabad, SRH openers David Warner (100 of 55) and Jonny Bairstow (114 of 56) struck a record 185-run first wicket stand to power their team to a monumental 231/2 in 20 overs. Chasing a huge total, RCB innings folded on mere 113- a run short of Bairstow's score-in 19.5 overs.
Off the two sides, RR look to be placed. The team has at least competed before going down. Against SRH, Ajinkya Rahane (70 off 49) and Sanju Samson (102 off 55) helped the side put up a strong batting performance. In Chennai, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer stretched the chase all the way down to the final over. Jos Buttler's 69 of 43 had put the side on course of a win against Punjab before the middle order collapsed. Bowling would be the area of concern for Ajinkya Rahane. Jayadev Unadkat , Jofra Archer and Dhawal Kulkarni have picked 2 wickets each. The spin duo of Krishnappa Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal have combined to pick 4 wickets. Against RCB, which at least on paper boast of a strong batting line up, bowlers need to fine all cylinders.
RCB though are in all sorts of troubles. Bowling has always been their Achilles heel and this season their famed batting line up is failing as well. RCB don't have a fixed opening combination. The team has tried three different pairs in three matches. Leave aside AB de Villiers' fighting 70 against MI, another RCB batsman is yet to cross fifty-run mark. Middle order have found it difficult to touch double digits. However, captain Virat Kohli can draw positive from the bowling performance of Yuzvendra Chahal. The young leg spinner's spell of 4/38 is one of the bowling performance of the season.
Timing – 8 pm
Venue – Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Where to watch – Star Sports 1/1HD/1 Hindi/1HD Hindi/1 Tamil/1 Telugu/1 Kannada/1 Bangla/Select 1/Select 1HD. Online viewers can catch the action live on Hotstar.
Head to Head
History suggests there isn't much that separate the two sides. In 19 matches, RCB have managed to win 8 matches while RR have won 9 fixtures. Two matches have ended with no-result.
Both teams have no fresh injury concerns ahead of this fixture. However, RCB are yet to find a perfect balance in its playing XI. Expect changes in their team for the match.
Considering the home advantage, RR are favorite to win this one.
Betting Odds (bet365)
Other popular bets on the match can be checked on Oddschecker
The previous match at the stadium between Rajasthan and Punjab was a slight run fest. Both teams though will have to deal with soaring heat of the city.
Moneycontrol Dream XI: Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Sanju Samson, AB de Villiers, Ben Stokes, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Umesh Yadav
Players to watch out for
Ben Stokes (RR)
Ben Stokes almost played a match winning innings of 46 off 26 balls. If he gets going, he could rip apart any bowling line-up. He is a very good bowler as well.
Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB)
Yuzvendra Chahal's 4/38 has been one of the bowling performances of the season. He is a very potent weapon in Virat Kohli's arsenal.