Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, September 29 2021, 7:30 P IST
Royal Challengers made amends to their rocky start of the UAE leg, and are now inching towards a playoffs spot. After a morale-boosting win against Mumbai Indians, they seek to strengthen their chances when they take on Rajasthan Royals with just four matches to go.
RCB climbed to 12 points with a massive 54-run win over MI, while RR squandered two chances to break into the top four with losses to Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. They did their NRR no favours either with losses of 33 runs and seven wickets respectively. They’re now placed on sixth spot behind Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings, and in need of a quick fix.
A major encumbrance for RR has been their misfiring middle order with Sanju Samson forced to carry the weight of it. In the last two matches, Samson has scored successive half-centuries with little support at the other end, which have resulted in RR falling short on runs.
While the pacers made the most of the conditions by cutting back on the pace, the batsmen struggled on the sticky wickets. RR, especially, need runs from Liam Livingstone, who they’ve promoted up, and their Indian contingent of Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia. Mahipal Lomror and Yashasvi Jaiswal have got starts, but need to capitalize on those to make it count.
RCB will be happy with Maxwell’s all-round outing in the last game in Dubai. He scored 56 and returned two wickets in their big win. Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli have been solid at the top, providing RCB with strong starts.
They will hope for Daniel Christian to come into his own and deliver with his all-round skills. When Kohli was asked how he would rate RCB’s previous performance, he rated it a 10/10 outing. He’ll hope RCB can sustain that and strengthen their position with the business end of the tournament nigh.
Where: Dubai InternationalCricket Stadium
What to expect: Dubai has been a good batting venue despite having something in it for the pacers. But it’s about targeting the shorter boundary, like seen with Maxwell in RCB’s previous clash against Mumbai Indians. It’s an evening game so will be comparatively cooler.
Head To Head: RCB and RR are neck to neck with 11 and 10 wins respectively in 23 games. The last 3 times that these two sides have gone up against each other, however, it’s RCB who come up trumps. Can RR change that in Dubai?
Who will win?
RCB are favorites on the paper. But if Samson gets going and receives support from other end, I reckon Rajasthan can then pull this game off.