IPL 2018 has been one of the best seasons of the Indian Premier League thus far, as we have reached the final weekend of play and teams are still fighting it out, with 5 teams still in contention for the last 2 play-off spots up for grabs. Royal Challengers Bangalore are coming into this game on a hot streak of 3 wins, most recently beating Sunrisers after posting a massive total of 218. What was impressive is not their streak of 3 wins but the hunger they have played with in those games, capitalizing in crunch moments of each game.
The Indian Premier League has always been about ups and downs and this is how it has been for Rajasthan Royals this year, not being too good and not being too bad either. Just when they were almost out of the tournament, they hit back with three consecutive wins, only to be halted by Kolkata in their last game. Both teams now have 12 points from 13 games, with RCB having a higher Net Run Rate. Get ready for a thrilling game of cricket!
While Rajasthan have been producing the results, it’s mostly been due to the efforts of a certain Mr. Jos Buttler, who equalled an IPL record of 5 consecutive fifties in the Indian Premier League, and tallied over 500 runs this season. In they last game, they lost but their best bowler with 3 wickets was Ben Stokes. How does Rajasthan play now, with both Buttler and Stokes back in England, for their test against Pakistan.
Bangalore have had a major problem of chopping and changing his playing eleven in every match in IPL 2018, but in the post match presentation, Kohli clearly mentioned his intention of sticking with the same team till wherever this tournament takes them. Bangalore now have the luxury of going to play with a well settled team, something Rajasthan doesn’t have. Kohli and ABD are in form, all-rounders CdG and Moeen have hit form while the bowlers have found their rhythm at the right time. Signs are good for RCB.
One thing that has helped RCB’s NRR was 200+ in the last game, and finishing the game before that within 9 overs. The team is now looking like one to beat in the competition and I’d be really surprised if they put up anything less than a superb display of skills when they play Rajasthan in Jaipur. 151 has been defended here while 177 has also been chased down, but it’s safe to say that if you manage to put up 185 or more on this ground, you are in control of the game.
All signs are indicating an RCB victory here. The Rajasthan team will be playing without two main players while the Bangalore combination is a winning one at the moment. I’m expecting Bangalore to win and complete a dream qualification like they did back in IPL 2016. Picture highlights of the last game between these two sides:
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