It will be a clash between the teams near the top of the table when the Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Rajasthan Royals at home. Rajasthan are the form side of the tournament with four wins out of five,the latest an 87-run thumping of Mumbai Indians. Bangalore are second,with four wins and two losses,but havent always looked in command mode.
Two of their six games this season have been decided by Super Overs.
Eggs in one basket
It is not really difficult to pin down Bangalores strengths. The belligerence of the top order papers over other areas of weakness,like the brittle middle and lower order that has already let slip at least two easy run chases. Virat Kohli dons the orange cap currently with 321 runs at a staggering average of 64.2 and strike rate of 140.17.
The fourth highest scorer for the side is Mayank Aggarwal,with 67 runs from five innings. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad,Bangalore fell from 85/3 to 127/8. Against Delhi Daredevils,Bangalore again collapsed from 129/2 to 138/7. Both games went down to the Super Over.
If the strength and weakness of the Bangalore side seems to be set,Rajasthan has thrived on unpredictability this season. The side opened with five different bowling partners in its first five games,have shuffled their batting order as and when required and have several T20 specialists (Brad Hogg,Owais Shah) sitting on the bench.
But no matter which side has turned up,Rajasthan seems to have a winning eleven on the field. The presence of all-rounders like Stuart Binny and Kevon Cooper,and Rahul Dravids own inclination to move up or out of the order depending on the match situation means the side has a fluid batting set up. Having opened with spinners,or with the genuine pace of Shaun Tait or swing of Sreesanth,Rajasthans bowling too has proved difficult to read so far.
Ajinkya Rahane (196 runs at 65.33),much like he did during the first part of the previous edition,has remained Rajasthans batting bedrock. Keeping one end up (strike rate of 108.28),the opener has allowed for the big hits to come from the other end. Brad Hodge and Shane Watson to an extent,have prospered from his steadiness. In all five games so far,Rahane has batted beyond the tenth over of the innings and on both the occasions that he has batted through,Rajasthan have gone on to win.