Given the dreadful record of RCB against RR, which reads 0-3 in favor of the latter (last three years), in lead up to their last game against each other, no one would have given RCB much of a chance but they did win. Can they do it again versus RR or will Rajasthan turn the tide finally? Let's see.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - L W W L W
As unbelievable as it seems, after 13 long years, it won't be wrong to say that RCB have finally found their best unit in IPL after starting with a Test side in 2008. They are ranked third this season with five wins after eight games, which includes beating the powerhouses of the league like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. However, while they couldn't complete a hat-trick of wins, losing against KXIP, they would want to replicate their earlier Abu Dhabi performance against RR in Dubai on Saturday.
Rajasthan Royals - L W L L L
After starting off spectacularly well with a couple of wins, Rajasthan Royals have been completely lost in the desert, having won just one of their next six matches. After their brilliant victory against SRH, one would have expected them to continue doing well against Delhi Capitals as well but they faltered in an easy chase after bowling amazing well at death, with batsmen disappointing yet again and the likes of Samson, Smith not even coming to the party after a decent performance by the English duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. It would need some doing for them to overcome a strong RCB unit in Dubai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - AB de Villiers
After completely messing up with AB de Villiers' batting position in the last game against KXIP, where he batted at 6 below Sundar and Dube, he's likely to be back at no.4 position. The South African legend has had issues against leg spin since last couple of years but champion players find a way to fight through these things. I mean AB de Villiers wouldn't have been AB de Villiers had he not negated such weaknesses or found a way out in what has been a glorious cricketing career for him. He really likes batting against the Jaipur-based franchise and has a tally of 593 runs at 42.36 with a strike-rate of 141.19.
Rajasthan Royals - Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler might have struggled for form in IPL 2020 or the preceding limited-overs series against Australia but in the game against Delhi Capitals, he thrilled and showcased what mettle he's made of. I mean scooping a fast bowler bowling 156 something clicks is outrageous. He might not have played a long innings but his brief cameo was a big confident booster for him and that should help him overcome his issues in the ongoing edition. With an average of 32.67 and strike-rate of 163.33 against RCB, the aggressive batsman likes facing their bowlers and will look to hunt them down to finally start prowling.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Yuzvendra Chahal
With 11 wickets in eight games, this year, Yuzvendra Chahal has been key to RCB's success. It was bewildering to see Kohli use his ace leg-spinner for just three overs in the game against KXIP, despite the ball gripping and him having already taken out the dangerous Mayank Agarwal. But Virat won't be able to keep Chahal away from bowling in Dubai, where with bigger boundaries, the wrist spinner has done a good job. Also, Chahal enjoys playing against RR and has 14 wickets in 10 games at an economy rate of 5.74. Even in the first game against RR played this season, he had taken three wickets.
Rajasthan Royals - Jofra Archer
So far genuine fast bowlers have really enjoyed bowling in the UAE. And Jofra Archer, who's one of the best fast bowlers in the world when it comes to white-ball cricket, has also done a terrific job, emerging as the second leading-wicket-taker in the tournament with 12 wickets in eight games. In the last three games, he has taken his game to a different level altogether, picking seven wickets. Given his great run of form, the RR pacer will be a major threat for Royal Challengers Bangalore, be it in the powerplay or at the death.
RCB: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium ,Dubai
When to Watch: Oct 17, 3.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)