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'Chahal key for RR; senior players will have to do well for RCB to enter IPL 2022 Final,' claims Aakash Chopra

Mumbai, May 27: In a battle royale, Rajasthan Royals take on resurgent Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022 Qualifier 2 on Friday (May 27) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

RCB made it to Qualifier 2 on the back of a scintillating century from Rajat Patidar against Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator, while RR ended up on the losing side in a hard-fought contest against Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1. Going into this all-important knockout fixture, both teams will be giving it their best shot to book a date with GT in the final on May 29.

Speaking during Star Sports show 'GAME PLAN', former India batsman Aakash Chopra reckoned senior players from the RCB camp will have to step up in the match, and said, "Experience will be helpful in today's match. I believe but I could still be wrong because if we look at RCB's performance so far in this season, they reached this stage after winning the Eliminator without Kohli, Maxwell and Faf du Plessis scoring runs. If you still reached there, it means RCB's season has been good. So, well-done RCB!

"But if you want to go forward from here and win today's match, and then defeat Gujarat in the final, then it is not going to be possible without Faf, Kohli and Maxwell scoring runs. They have a lot of experience. Trent Boult will be up against Faf du Plessis and he has struggled against left-armers. So, it will be a key battle to watch how he faces Boult," Chopra said.

"Virat Kohli has no such issue, he only needs to play Prasidh Krishna a little cautiously. The rest he will handle pretty well. He hasn't been dismissed by Trent Boult till now. But Faf has to score runs. It will not work every time that he gets a golden duck and expect someone to rescue the team from danger and reach 200. Rajat Patidar won't be able to do it every time like he did in the Eliminator. Someone else will have to take the responsibility," Chopra added further.

Talking about the game plan for Rajasthan Royals, Chopra claimed leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal needs to bring out his best against RCB. Chopra said, "They are not very over-dependent off-course. He is the highest wicket-taker not only for his team, but has got the most wickets in the league. They've got other bowlers too, so it's a good bowling unit. In the opposition's batting unit, looking at your main batters - Virat Kohli or Faf du Plessis - if they don't score runs, then Rajat Patidar will score runs once in a while else it will become difficult for him.

"The same is happening with Jos Buttler if you look at his current batting. Yuzi Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin have played only once or twice where both have failed to take any wickets and RR lost both the matches. So, it's no doubt that they are important players and bowl important overs. But the good thing about today is that the field is very big and if there's no dew on the field, you'll see these bowlers bowling smartly. You will see Chahal bowling his best against his former team. In the previous match, he bowled well, but this time he needs to do even better since he needs to make his former team regret for not keeping him," former India added further.

While making his prediction about the winners of this contest, Chopra backed RCB to emerge victorious and make it to the finals. "Royals will win it. Let's go with Royal Challengers Bangalore, although the Rajasthani Rajwadas won't let me enter Jaipur. They are very close to my heart but this time I would go for RCB," Chopra signed off.

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Story first published: Friday, May 27, 2022, 17:33 [IST]
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