Struggling Rajasthan look to stay afloat against Bangalore - GulfToday

Struggling Rajasthan look to stay afloat against Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore

A RCB batsman takes part in a training session.

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

A struggling Rajasthan Royals (RR) will look to bounce back against a rampant Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to keep their play-off hopes alive in Indian Premier League.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) who were at the rock bottom in the table and playing for the pride only, defeated Rajasthan to dent their hopes.  Rajasthan are at the sixth spot with 10 points from as many matches, having won five and lost five.

While Bangalore are comfortably sitting on the third spot with 12 points from 10 games. They will look to boost their hopes of a knockout berth with a victory.

Bangalore can draw the motivation with the result of their last meeting. When the two met last times in India before the tournament came to an abrupt halt due to an unprecedented hike in coronavirus cases, Bangalore had trounced Rajasthan by 10 wickets.

Devdutt Padikkal smashed a century and Kohli fifty as the duo took the team past a fighting total of 177 in 16.3 overs.

Bangalore are in red-hot form as they are coming into the match on the back convincing victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians.

After posting a total of 165, Bangalore restricted Mumbai to 111 to beat them by 54 runs. Kohli has scored two consecutive fifties in last two matches which is not a good news for Rajasthan.

Since his announce of stepping down from Bangalore captaincy after the IPL, Kohli seems to be playing the same old aggression he was known for.

Padikkal was dismissed for zero and he is also due for a big knock. Glenn Maxwell also underlined his utility and showed why he is such an important cog in the wheel of Bangalore.

He accounted for the dismissals of Krunal Pandya and prized scalp of captain Rohit Sharma, who is being linked to the India’s top job after Kohli relinquishes the post after the cricketing spectacle in the UAE in October.

Maxwell also scored a 37-ball 53 with the help of six boundaries and three sixes to change the complexion of the game.

Apart from them, the presence of AB de Villiers and Dan Christian consolidates the middle-order further.

Bangalore also have a potent bowling attack which features Mohammed Siraj, Kyle Jamison and Christian, who has the experience of playing in more than 200 T20 matches in the different leagues across the globe.

Maxwell and Harshal Patel are also medium pacers and they have Yuzvendra Chahal and Shahbaz Ahmed as the specialist spinners. Patel took the first hat-trick of the season against Mumbai so his morale will be high as well.

Overall Bangalore look like a very-well balanced side at the moment and if two of their bowlers and batsmen click it can be dangerous for any team.

Whereas chips are down in the Rajasthan camp after their loss against the rock-bottom side Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Rajasthan are missing the service of the star cricketers Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler along with David Miller. Stokes and Acrher have pulled out on the health ground whereas Buttler cited a personal reason for the withdrawal.

But in the absence of the stars, Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Liam Livingstone had done well against Punjab but failed to put up the same performance in their next two matches.

Sanju Samson is the only batsman, who has clicked in their last two matches. He has scored two fifties in consecutive matches but rest of the batsman crumbled under pressure.

In bowling, Mustafizur Rahman and Chris Morris will take care of the pace department while Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya will provide more tooth to the attack. But Rajasthan will have to click as a unit to beat Bangalore to keep their hopes alive.

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