Rajasthan Royals encountered their first blip in IPL 2020 in what was a thunderous start to their campaign. After accumulating a couple of 200 plus scores in Sharjah, Kolkata Knight Riders handed Rajasthan Royals a reality check in Dubai. While chasing a tricky 175, the Royals’ batsmen played rash shots more than often, resulting in losing wickets in clumps.
On Saturday, they will play in Abu Dhabi for the first time in IPL 2020, facing the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Virat Kohli-led side will undoubtedly be high on confidence after they prevailed in the super over against the defending champions, Mumbai Indians. With both of them winning two out of three games, it should be a crucial encounter for both to determine whether they could restore consistency.
We take a look at Rajasthan Royals’ predicted XI ahead of their IPL 2020 game against RCB:
Jos Buttler (wk):
Jos Buttler has surprisingly endured a quiet start to IPL 2020. After managing only four runs against Kings XI Punjab, Shivam Mavi halted Jos Buttler’s promising start against Kolkata Knight Riders. The keeper-batsman had smashed a couple of sixes and a boundary before perishing.
Rajasthan Royals need more from Buttler at the top to evoke confidence amongst the other batsmen. The need for Buttler is also to rectify his keeping skills slightly as he missed a chance to dismiss Nitish Rana the other night.
Even though Steve Smith has done well at the top of the order so far, Rajasthan Royals might prefer restoring Yashasvi Jaiswal at the top. Yashasvi Jaiswal played against Chennai Super Kings and scored only a boundary before perishing.
The inaugural IPL champions should prefer playing the 18-year old instead of Robin Uthappa, who has struggled with the bat. The opening pair of Buttler and Jaiswal could become one of the explosive one moving forward.
After starring in the two games against Sharjah, Sanju Samson fell well short in Dubai against Kolkata Knight Riders. Sanju Samson struck 74 and 85 in the first two games; however, could only score 15 off nine deliveries against the Knight Riders. The right-handed batsman will want to get it right against the RCB.
Steve Smith (c):
Steve Smith will possibly bat in his preferred middle-order, trying to stabilise the innings in case of another collapse. At number four, Steve Smith has a strike rate of 123.85; however, he fares better while batting at number three.
However, the red-hot form of Sanju Samson means that the former Australian captain might have to settle at number four. Smith will also have a match-up with Virat Kohli and trying to get the better of his counterpart.
Rahul Tewatia was the star for the Royals against Kings XI Punjab and showed glimpses of pulling off a victory against the Knight Riders too; however, failed miserably. With the ball, Tewatia bowled only an over but removed Nitish Rana out of the equation. Smith should consider bowling the 27-year old more.
Riyan Parag exceeded the expectations last year by picking the gaps and sending the ball flying into the stands. Contrary to that, Riyan Parag has not showcased that performances or even the glimpse of it. The youngsters has scores of 6, 0 and 1 apart from bowling an over and conceded 14 runs. Parag needs to step up and substantially contribute to the Royals’ causes.
Tom Curran saved face for Rajasthan Royals scoring an unbeaten fifty against Kolkata Knight Riders to reduce the margin of loss to 37 runs. Tom Curran also bowled reasonably well at the death; however, conceded extras against Eoin Morgan that hugely impacted the game. He will most likely retain his place.
Jofra Archer has displayed his potential as a batsman in this year’s edition by playing valuable cameos against Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab. Jofra Archer produced a scintillating and venomous spell of fast bowling against the Knight Riders, removing Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik. Archer is the trump card in the bowling department for the Royals.
Contrary to the previous seasons, Shreyas Gopal has looked off-colour, picking up only one wicket in three matches. Shreyas Gopal has often missed his lengths that has resulted in the bowler going expensive. However, Gopal should fancy his chances against Virat Kohli, who is vulnerable against leg-spinners.
Ankit Rajpoot has bowled considerably well in the death overs against KXIP and Kolkata Knight Riders, accounting for two wickets. He took the scalps of KL Rahul and Andre Russell in two matches, both of which were crucial for Rajasthan Royals. The likes of Varun Aaron and Akash Singh might have to wait for their chances as Rajpoot has impressed so far.
Jaydev Unadkat, who often takes the new ball for the Rajasthan Royals, went wicketless in the first two games. The left-arm seamer picked up his first wicket against the Knight Riders in the form of Sunil Narine. Unadkat, who bowled only two overs, which went for a decent 14 runs, unfortunately, did not bowl more. Smith might want to unleash the Saurashtra bowler more in the death overs.