Two sides that have had contrasting starts to their campaigns this season, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals will go toe-to-toe with each other at the Wankhede on Thursday. While a win for RCB would push them back to top spot in the table, victory would see RR moving to fifth.
In the form of Chris Morris, Kyle Jamieson and Glenn Maxwell, Rajasthan and Bangalore splashed the cash on overseas players in the IPL 2021 auction, but the two sides have had contrasting starts. While the Royal Challengers are, to date, the only unbeaten side in the tournament, the Royals are reeling at seventh spot. RR have been plagued by injuries and have been further hit by the departure of Liam Livingstone, leaving them with just five available overseas players. Thursday, though, will see Bangalore play at a venue other than Chennai for the first time this season, so the Royals will be aiming to capitalize on RCB’s unfamiliarity with the Mumbai conditions.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - W W W
RCB’s consistency has been, without a doubt, the biggest surprise of the 2021 edition. They edged defending champions Mumbai Indians in the first game of the season, but then registered impressive wins versus both SRH and KKR in tough conditions. The KKR win, in particular, was mighty impressive as it saw the side post a 200+ total on a sluggish Chennai wicket. With them shifting their base to Mumbai, RCB will be hoping for the duo of Kohli and Padikkal to return to form, but will also be banking on the duo of AB de Villiers and Maxwell to extend their golden run with the bat.
Rajasthan Royals - L W L
Rajasthan Royals have been continued to haunt by the ghosts of IPL 2020 as it has been the incompetence of the fringe batsmen that has been their Achilles heel. None of Parag, Dube or Vohra have stepped up thus far this season and this over-dependency on the duo of Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson has seen the side become an easy target for opponents. RR endured top-order collapses in each of their previous two games, and would desperately be hoping to avoid one come Thursday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals - Head to Head
Total - 23
RCB - 10
RR - 10
NR - 3
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals - Last Meeting
The previous H2H clash between these two sides saw RCB come out on top thanks to an ABD special. Chasing 178 the Royal Challengers were in a spot of bother at one stage, needing 35 off the final two overs, but a once-in-a-lifetime knock from the willow of AB de Villiers saw the Reds get home with two balls to spare to down the then Steve Smith-led Royals.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals - Probable Playing XI
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 16, Blitzpools Fantasy XI
Wicket-keepers - AB de Villiers, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson
Batsmen - David Miller, Devdutt Padikkal, Manan Vohra
All-rounders - Glenn Maxwell, Chris Morris
Bowlers - Harshal Patel, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
Match - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, Indian Premier League Match 16
Date - Thursday, April 22, 2021
Time – 7:30 PM IST
Venue – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai