PUNE: Royal Challengers Bangalore will be aiming to halt the Jos Buttler juggernaut when they take on Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League here on Tuesday. Attention will be on Virat Kohli as well following his second consecutive first ball duck in the competition.
While the Challengers come into the match on the back of a demoralising nine-wicket loss, RCB would be hoping their star batter to be back among the runs besides a much improved performance by the batting unit after a shocker in the previous game. to Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan have had two successive wins and are one of the in-form teams this season.
While the focus would be on Kohli, RCB have also power-hitters in captain Faf Du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaaz Ahmed, who can be destructive on their day and if they fire in unison, the RR attack would have a tough time.
Du Plessis, the highest run-scorer for his team, has blown hot and cold with the willow but remains a vital cog for the team. Karthik too with his hitting abilities is playing the finisher's role to near perfection.
They are up against Rajasthan's varied attack, led by Trent Boult, who has troubled Kohli in the past with the delivery that comes in. Prasidh Krishna and the spin duo of wily Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal can also pose problems for the RCB batters.
Chahal, with 18 wickets so far, can turn the game on its head. And ditto for Ashwin, who can be the opposition's nemesis on his day. Add to it the four overs by Obed McCoy; Rajasthan have a decent attack.
For Rajasthan, opener Jos Buttler has been in sublime form, having already hammered three hundreds this season. Opener Devdutt Padikkal and skipper Sanju Samson have also been toying with opposition attacks and are among the runs.
And so is Shimon Hetymar, who can compound the bowling team's woes with his brutal onslaught. RR would be hoping that the top order delivers once again at the MCA Stadium, which has witnessed high-scoring games.
The weak links in Rajasthan's batting are Karun Nair and Riyan Parag and the duo would need to step up and deliver. For RCB, they have the best death bowler in Harshal Patel, but he would need support from Mohammed Siraj and Josh Hazlewood.
The four overs by Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who has eleven wickets, could also change the match's fate.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Faf du Plessis, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudesai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Karn Sharma, David Willey, Rajat Patidar, Siddharth Kaul.
Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, Shubham Garwal, Dhruv Jurel, Kuldip Yadav, Kuldeep Sen, Tejas Baroka, Anunay Singh, KC Kariappa, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Rassie Van der Dussen, Nathan Coulter Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Karun Nair, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Match starts at 7:30 pm