Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 4 PM IST
Of the 9 T20I matches played at this ground, the team batting first has won on 4 occasions, whereas the team chasing down the target has won 5 times. In this IPL season, the matches played at Abu Dhabi have been pretty high scoring, with scores going past 150 in 3 of the 4 matches played here.
Head To Head:
RCB have won 6 of the 11 matches played between these 2 teams. RR on the other hand have won 4, whereas 1 has been washed out. With RCB fielding a power-packed lineup, and RR fielding a feisty side, the matches between these 2 franchises have been intense more often than not.
RCB had a close encounter in their previous match, having lost against KKR by 2 runs on the last ball. Their bowling looked good to restrict the opposition, barring the partnership between Kallis and Lynn. The batting started off well with Parthiv and Takawale, but they failed to take the momentum into the middle order and the slog overs.
RR were guilty of the opposite in their game against CSK, trying to hit their way to a low target and losing wickets before they could get close. Although the batsmen have looked in good form, Shane Watson will want them to rethink their shot selection and control the adrenaline rush to finish a job instead of just playing impressive cameos.
Earlier their bowlers stuck to a plan perfectly to reduce a strong top order to 74/5 but let the tail get away and nearly double the total.
Preview Of The Teams:
The Chris Gayle omission owing to a sore back has been the talk of the RCB camp. He will be a great boost to the side with his immense charisma enough to intimidate oppositions if his hard hitting is not enough. Yogesh Takawale impressed on his RCB debut, but his position in the batting order would change if Gayle plays. In Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers, they have a strong batting order and they should just keep the previous loss behind themselves. The bowling is strong with Aaron and Chahal taking the limelight. Aussie import Mitchell Starc is also doing well in his debut IPL season.
Rajasthan Royals are a team which relies more on utility players, with 9 of their 11 players capable of bowling if needed. In Sanju Samson, they have found a brilliant uncapped player to come in at 3 and play some sizzling shots. Shane Watson may want to move higher up the order because with 2 run outs in 2 games, RR's opening pair clearly isn't the right one. Changes of pace are the X-factor of the RR bowling attack. Dhawal Kulkarni, Rajat Bhatia and Pravin Tambe have been the standout performers. Kane Richardson and Tim Southee have both done well as the 4th overseas option when picked, bringing another dimension with their express pace.
Having seen his performances in the previous 3 RCB matches, it is clear that Yuzvendra Chahal has become a key member of the side. The 23-year old leg spinner has been right on the money with his control and variations, and even the best of batsmen have found it tough to get him away. He has given away just 1 boundary in this season so far, and has picked up 4 wickets at an economy of 5.08.
The RR bowling attack has looked all the more dangerous with Rajat Bhatia in the ranks. He provides no pace whatsoever to the batsmen which makes it tough on them to hit the big shots. Bhatia has picked up 4 wickets in the 3 matches played. He is also a decent batsman who can provide the occasional boundaries and make a vital difference in the end.