Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) find themselves in the same predicament having won two and lost one in their three Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 matches so far.
The match on Saturday (October 3) in Dubai is a crucial one for both teams – for RR to get back to winning ways after a slump against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and for RCB to continue improving and, more importantly, continue winning following their Super Over victory over Mumbai Indians (MI).
When it comes to head-to-head, RR have a slender lead over RCB in the IPL having won 10 out of their 20 meetings, with RCB winning eight and two ending in no-results. Even in their last five encounters, it is the Royals who have the lead, winning three and losing just one.
Overall: Matches – 20 | RCB – 8 Wins | RR – 10 Wins | NR – 2
Last 5 Matches: RCB – 1 Win | RR – 3 Wins | NR – 1
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
There have been five matches played at this venue in IPL 2020 already, but this is the first time both RCB and RR will be playing here. A total of 1265 runs at a run-rate of 8 have been scored at this venue. Bowlers have picked up a wicket every 27.5 runs and 20.5 deliveries apart.
However, bowlers can rejoice from the fact that the Sheikh Zayed Stadium has the best economy rate (7.4) since 2018, but bowlers have toiled hard, having picked up a wicket once every 19.4 deliveries and 24.1 runs apart.
Pacers have done most of the damage in Abu Dhabi in this edition of the IPL, having picked up 29 wickets compared to spinners’ 15. However, spinners (7.4) have been a lot more economical than pacers (8.2).
However, fast bowlers have been more efficient in terms of picking up wickets – strike rate of 19.7, compared to spinners’ 24.8. Even when it comes to runs per wicket, pacers (27) have been far better than spinners (30.7) this season.
Even in T20s since 2018, Abu Dhabi has seen more share of wickets from pacers, but just like it has been in IPL 2020, spinners have been far more economical. Otherwise, it is the pacers who have had more success when it comes to balls and runs per wicket.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
AB de Villiers has been in top form in IPL 2020 so far, having notched up a couple of fifties in three innings. However, Shreyas Gopal on the other hand, has not been in the best of forms this season, having picked up just one wicket in three outings. But the RR leg-spinner has a terrific record against de Villiers, having dismissed the former South African captain on four occasions in their previous four meetings. AB’s strike-rate of 75 and average of just 5.3 clearly suggests that he struggles against Gopal. Who will have the last laugh this time around?
Another leg-spinner who could cause havoc in this match is Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal, who has picked up five wickets already in the tournament, has troubled Sanju Samson in the past and there is no reason why he can’t do it again. Samson has looked in as good form as he has ever been during his career but has struggled against the RCB leggie, having been dismissed thrice in their six previous meetings. With an average of just 7.7 and a strike rate of a little over 82, it is safe to say that it is Chahal who has the upper hand going into this contest.
Not many dominate Jofra Archer, but Aaron Finch has certainly managed to achieve that. The RCB opener has a strike rate of 134.6 against the England fast bowler and has been dismissed just thrice in nine innings. Archer, who had an excellent game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), will look to continue his good form in this game and getting the wicket of Finch early would be ideal for his team. Finch too is coming off the back of a well-made fifty against Mumbai Indians (MI) and will surely be up for this battle. Another mouthwatering Australia vs England contest awaits us!
Having scored 134 runs at a strike rate of 186.11, which includes two fifties in three innings, AB de Villiers should be a front-runner to lead your side. With him donning the wicketkeeping gloves, we could see him fetch you some valuable points for his catches and stumpings as well. De Villiers is just one of seven cricketers to have scored 1000 runs since IPL 2018 and has gotten them at a strike rate of 166.6, which is the best among all those seven batsmen.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts de Villiers could score 14-31 runs in this match.
Shreyas Gopal has dismissed Kohli and de Villiers a combined seven times and on more than one occasion, he has dismissed both of them in the same innings. Gopal has also been consistent over the years. Rashid Khan (42) and Yuzvendra Chahal (35) are the only spinners who have picked up more wickets than him in the IPL since 2018. He has not been in the best of forms, but RR will be banking on him to return to form against a formidable RCB batting unit.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Gopal could pick up 1-2 wickets and score 3-12 runs in this match.
20-year-old Devdutt Padikkal took everyone by storm when he smashed a brilliant fifty against SRH on his IPL debut and then hit another half-century two games later against MI. For those who have followed Padikkal’s Karnataka career, this comes as no surprise and rubbing shoulders with heavyweights like Kohli and de Villiers will only make him a better player. Padikkal will once again look to get RCB off to a flying start along with Finch, which set up the match for them beautifully in their two wins this season so far.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Padikkal could score 19-42 runs in this match.
Yuzvendra Chahal might have had an off day against MI, but there is no denying that he is an integral cog in this RCB bowling line-up. Only Jasprit Bumrah (42) and Rashid Khan (40) have picked up more wickets than Chahal (35) since IPL 2018. Chahal has an impeccable record against RR, having picked up 11 wickets from eight innings at an economy rate of under six.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Rayudu could pick up 1-2 wickets in this match.