7th and 8th placed teams in IPL 2019, Rajasthan and Bangalore have thus far managed to turn their fortunes around in IPL 2020, with both sitting mighty in the Top 5 in the standings. With Delhi not scheduled to play until evening tomorrow, a win will see one of these two sides temporarily go top.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - W L W
Despite ‘almost’ screwing themselves over like the old times, Virat Kohli’s RCB proved that their win versus SRH in game one was no fluke, by edging Mumbai Indians in a Super Over earlier this week. There were more positives than negatives for Bangalore in their previous encounter and come Saturday, once again, Kohli & Co. will be hoping for their power-packed batting to give some sort of a cushion to their brittle bowling.
Rajasthan Royals - L W W
Every ground is not Sharjah and Rajasthan Royals learnt this lesson the harsh way. After out-muscling both KXIP and CSK in the mini-stadium that is Sharjah, Rajasthan were handed a Royal reality check in their previous game by KKR, who exposed the grave imbalance existent within the top-heavy RR team. Unlike RCB, RR had more negatives than positives, but they will definitely take heart from the fact that they are still 2 wins from 3 despite the horror show in Dubai on Wednesday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - AB de Villiers
He might be 36 and his game-time might be limited to a handful of T20 franchise competitions, but AB de Villiers, much like Roger Federer, has shown in this IPL that yes, you can indeed get better with age. With two fifties in three games, Mr.360 has lit up IPL 2020 with his effervescent strokeplay thus far and so in the zone was de Villiers in the last game that he obliterated Jasprit Bumrah, the best T20 bowler in the entire world. Much like Mumbai, Rajasthan, too, are dependent on their talisman, Jofra Archer, to restrict run-scoring, so if de Villiers can dismantle the Englishman just like how he did the Indian, then there is only one team that is walking away as the victor.
Rajasthan Royals - Sanju Samson
A momentary lapse in concentration in the KKR game made Sanju look like the ever-so-frustrating Samson of the old times, but there has been plenty of evidence to suggest that he is actually a transformed cricketer, not least the way he carries himself in interviews. The new, more self-confident Samson has been the biggest magnet of IPL 2020 so far, sucking in fans to their TV sets with seraphic strokeplay, and come Saturday, he would be desperate to show that he is more than just a Sharjah bully. It was only two seasons ago that he hurt RCB with a whirlwind 92, so the 25-year-old will have good memories when he takes to the field tomorrow in an attempt to tame the RCB bowling attack.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini saved Virat Kohli and RCB from embarrassment through an otherworldly display in the Super Over versus Mumbai Indians and he, and not Chahal, will be his side’s key weapon come Saturday for the simple fact that the RR top-order looked rattled and intimidated by pace in their previous encounter. The trio of Mavi, Nagarkoti and Cummins accounted for each of the top five Rajasthan batsmen and, after having played two games in Sharjah, the RR batters seemed to find it difficult to adjust to the towering pace. With the top-order being the heartbeat of RR, Saini will go a long way in delivering RCB the match, if he could knock over a couple up-front.
Rajasthan Royals - Jofra Archer
After bowling on a graveyard in each of his first two games, Jofra Archer got his first crack on a ‘real cricketing wicket’ in Dubai on Wednesday, and boy he made it count. The right-armer was delivering rockets throughout the course of his 24-ball spell, even bowling multiple deliveries over 150 clicks, and he so effortlessly chained and hurt an explosive KKR line-up. With both Finch and Padikkal susceptible to express pace, and with Kohli in hideous form, Archer will have some opportunity tomorrow to humiliate the Royal Challengers.
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
When to Watch: Oct 2, 3.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)