Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 19 April 2013 - 10:07pm IST
Preview : Match 27 – RCB vs RR
Clash of Royals promises competitive cricket
Match 27 of Pepsi IPL 2013 will see a clash of the two Royals. The Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rahul Dravid-led Rajasthan Royals will have an opportunity to go top of the table when they take on each other. Both teams have won four matches, although RCB have had one outing more than RR’s five matches.
RCB start favourites in this match but do not discount their opponents. RR have generally punched above their weight and have surprised many with the enthusiasm and energy levels they are playing with. Though the crowd at Bengaluru have been very vocal in support of the RCB, their loyalty could be tested in this match given RR are being led by a Bengaluru Champ - Rahul Dravid and have Stuart Binny too.
Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8 p.m
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
For RCB to do well, a lot depends on the contribution by three of their top four batsmen. The presence of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers makes for a very formidable top order. Despite two quiet outings, the Jamaican Gayle still sits among the top five run-getters this season and he will be keen to make his presence count yet again. It is no coincidence that the Orange Cap sits pretty on Kohli’s head for the RCB skipper has scored runs every single time he has walked out to bat.
Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane – two batsmen known more for their classical style of batting – are RR’s top two run-getters. Despite doing well as an opener last season, Dravid has dropped himself down the order. Rahane meanwhile has continued from where he left off last season; he has anchored the innings and seen the team home on a couple of occasions. The team will expect him to play a similar role yet again allowing the stroke-makers like Brad Hodge and Stuart Binny to play freely.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals have so far met on ten occasions. RCB have won five of those matches, while RR have got the better of RCB on four occasions. One match between these two sides – at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru in 2011 – was abandoned because of rains.
Last season, both teams conceded their home fixtures to the visitors. RR won the first league match in Bengaluru by 59 runs before RCB returned the favour by winning their away fixture by 46 runs.
Spin bowlers have had very little success on the lively track at the Chinnaswamy Stadium this season; they have only picked up six wickets in the four matches played so far.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will play hosts to Pune Warriors India on April 23 and the Rajasthan Royals head to Chennai for their next fixture to take on Chennai Super Kings on April 22.