Ahmedabad, April 23: Pushed to the bottom of the heap after three successive losses, it would take an extraordinary performance from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to get the better of table-toppers Rajasthan Royals (RR) when the two sides clash in an IPL match here tomorrow.
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With five wins from six matches, Rajasthan are sitting pretty at the top with 10 points, their only loss coming against Kings XI Punjab in which they were beaten in the eliminator after a tie.
RCB, in contrast, are lying at the bottom with three losses from four matches, their only win being against defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in their tournament-opener.
Nothing seems to be clicking for RCB so far despite having perhaps the most explosive line-up of batsmen on paper. (Match guide)
Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Rilee Rossouw have proven records of striking mortal fear into opposition attacks but for reasons unknown, have failed to fire big so far in the tournament.
Although Kohli and de Villiers have not done too badly, Gayle's form has been huge letdown and he sat out of the team's previous match against Chennai Super Kings.
The West Indian marauder is enduring a nightmarish IPL by his standards and will have to rediscover his destructive best quickly for RCB to stay afloat.
The team's bowling is also yet to produce a noteworthy effort despite being spearheaded by World Cup's Man of the Tournament Mitchell Starc. Rajasthan, on the other hand, have been rolling along smoothly from the first match.
Their batting has a settled look with Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson combining well in the opening slots.
The middle order has the rock solid Steve Smith to anchor the innings but the loss to Kings XI Punjab in the previous match did expose some bowling frailties of the side.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (captain), Stuart Binny, James Faulkner, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Steve Smith, Rajat Bhatia, Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Abhishek Nayar, Kane Richardson, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Dishant Yagnik, Vikramjeet Malik, Ankit Sharma, Rahul Tewatia, Pravin Tambe, Chris Morris, Dinesh Salunkhe, Juan Theron, Pradeep Sahu, Barinder Saran, Sagar Trivedi.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, Harshal Patel, Vijay Zol, Abu Nechim, Sandeep Warrier, Yogesh Takawale, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rilee Rossouw, Iqbal Abdulla, Manvinder Bisla, Mandeep Singh, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, David Wiese, Sarfaraz Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Shishir Bhavane, Sreenath Aravind.
Match starts 8 PM IST
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