Smith's men to bounce bat against RCB

The first early start in this year’s Dream11 Indian Premier League sees the Royal Challengers Bangalore take on the Rajasthan Royals in a game that could be filled with runs. RCB will be looking for a more comfortable victory than their super over win over the Mumbai Indians, and Rajasthan will be looking to bounce back from their 37 run defeat to KKR.

Royals winning without their King

RCB have been typical of how they normally perform in previous editions of the IPL, and that is inconsistent. Two wins and a defeat so far, but their last win against the Mumbai Indians went from being an easy win to scraping through by the skin of their teeth. Half centuries from Devdutt Padikkal (54), Aaron Finch (52) and AB de Villiers (55) saw RCB cross the magic 200 run mark. The only thing missing from their destructive top four is the form of captain Virat Kohli. Just 23 runs from three games including chewing up 11 balls for 3 runs last time out, nearly cost his side the match when they got to the super over. Although one of the reasons that Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen in the world is the fact that his blips in form are usually short lived, so I am sure he will be back to somewhere near his best sooner rather than later.

With the ball, RCB decided to go with Aussie Adam Zampa over the veteran Dale Steyn, and the decision didn’t seem to make a drastic difference, with the spinner going for 53 runs from his four overs. Washington Sundar was the star with the ball, bowling 4-0-12-1, including sharing the new ball with Isuru Udana.

From history to horrible

After the heroics of their run chase against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, the Royals fell back down to earth with a bang, being comfortably beaten by KKR on Wednesday. They would have been content, keeping them down to 174/6, with Jofra Archer stealing the show with the ball, claiming an impressive 2-18 from his four overs.

In reply, the Royals lost wickets in regular intervals and were restricted to both 42/5 and 88/8 before eventually dragging themselves to 137/9, which was mainly down to a neat 54* from Tom Curran. That knock from Curran shows the batting depth of Rajasthan, it was just a shame that their explosive top order didn’t deliver last time out.

Match Tip

Captain Steve Smith wasn’t happy the performance of his troops with the bat last time out, so will be keen for them to get back to their best on Saturday. As for RCB, their erratic nature with the ball is always a concern, that’s why I think Rajasthan will sneak past Kohli and co in this one.

I am backing the Rajasthan Royals to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore at 2.05 with LeoVeags.

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