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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL: Can RCB end slump against table-toppers Rajasthan?

IPL: Can RCB end slump against table-toppers Rajasthan?

April 23, 2015 16:38 IST

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Players from Royal Challengers Bangalore. Photograph: BCCI

Pushed to the bottom of the heap after three successive losses, it will take an extraordinary effort from Royal Challengers Bangalore to overpower table-toppers Rajasthan Royals when the two sides clash in an Indian Premier League match in Ahmedabad on Friday.

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 has clicked for RCB so far, despite having perhaps the most explosive line-up of batsmen on paper.

RCB's Chris Gayle

RCB's Chris Gayle. Photograph: BCCI

Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Rilee Rossouw have proven records of striking mortal fear into opposition attacks but have failed to fire big in the tournament so far.

Although Kohli and De Villiers have not done too badly, Gayle's form has been a huge letdown and he sat out of the team's previous match against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.

The West Indian marauder is enduring a nightmarish form 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 Royals' Ajinkya Rahane

Rajasthan Royals' Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph: BCCI

Rajasthan, on the other hand, have been rolling along smoothly. 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 of their frailties in the bowling department.

Despite having 191 runs on the board, the Rajasthan bowlers lost the plot midway and the likes of Stuart Binny and James Faulkner will have to guard against such slip-ups.

However, given their campaign so far, Rajasthan will start outright favourites against RCB.

Teams (from):

 Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (capt), AB de Villers, Chris Gayle, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Rilee Rossouw, Vijay Zol, Yogesh Takawale, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Ashok Dinda, Sandeep Warrier, Manvinder Bisla, Iqbal Abdullah, Sean Abbott, Adam Milne, David Wiese, Jalaj Saxena, Sarfaraz Naushad Khan and Shishir Bhavane.

Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (Capt), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu.

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