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Royal battle for survival

Updated on: 22 May,2024 07:12 AM IST  |  Ahmedabad
Sunil K Vaidya |

Rajasthan, who were table-toppers at the start of the season, but have struggled with form recently, take on Bengaluru, who began with a string of defeats before rallying to win six matches on the trot, in tonight’s Eliminator

Royal battle for survival

RR captain Sanju Samson during the match against PBKS in Guwahati recently; (right) Virat Kohli during his 47 v CSK in Bangalore on Saturday. Pics/AFP

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The Narendra Modi Stadium will see a Royal elimination battle here as temperatures can soar to 45 degrees C. There’s also red-hot excitement for the Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bengaluru clash.


Contrasting fortunes


The two teams have had contrasting fortunes in the league phase. The Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan were off to a high-flying start, winning eight of their first nine ties. On the other hand, RCB lost seven of their first eight. The trend reversed in the second phase of the league when RR lost their last four matches while one was washed-out, to drop out of the top-two race. RCB clinched the fourth spot in the Playoffs with a close win over the Chennai Super Kings being their sixth win on the trot.


RR’s run of defeats came after injury sidelined Shimron Hetmyer. But the West Indian trained at the Gujarat College Ground on Tuesday and RR could be boosted by his return. In the absence of Jos Buttler, RR will pin hopes on their other opener, Yashasvi Jaiswal. The Mumbai opener scored one hundred and a fifty, but has otherwise struggled as Samson’s men have gone without a win since May 2.

Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, RCB have risen from the abyss to get into the reckoning for their maiden title. Call it complacency or confidence, the cock-a-hoop RCB, coming from rain-hit pleasant Bangalore, skipped training  when they could have acclimatised with the hot conditions here. For them, Virat Kohli is in supreme form, scoring 708 runs at a 155.6 strike-rate in 14 games. Faf du Plessis (421 runs) and Rajat Patidar (361) have done well alongside Kohli.

Yash, the pace ace 

Yash Dayal, who had turned a villain at this venue after conceding five sixes to Rinku Singh last season, has been their star performer with the ball. He is the highest wicket-taker for RCB with 15 scalps and an economy rate of 8.94.

504
No. of runs scored by RR skipper Sanju Samson so far at an average of 56.00

1-1
RR and RCB’s head-to-head record in Playoffs. RCB won the Eliminator in 2015 while RR won the Qualifier 2 in 2022

708
Virat Kohli’s runs in 14 games, the most by any batter in this IPL season

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