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RCB, RR look to tackle similar worries to make headway in IPL

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Jaipur, April 5: Struggling Royal Challengers Bengaluru and high-flying Rajasthan Royals bizarrely have similar worries to address when they face each other in the Indian Premier League here on Saturday.
The eighth place where RCB are currently on the 10-team table is a fair indication of their troubles, but Rajasthan’s all-win record so far and the resultant second place do not necessarily mirror their turmoil.
An underwhelming top-order is the intertwining factor between them.
The RCB top-order comprising skipper Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green and Rajat Patidar is a storehouse of talent and explosiveness. But none of them have fired either in isolation or in unison, except star batter Virat Kohli, the current Orange Cap holder with 203 runs, who has made two fifties.
Patidar showed a glimpse of his clean shot-making abilities while registering 29 in their 28-run defeat against Lucknow Super Giants, but he needs to do a lot more to prop up the RCB middle-order.The Bengaluru outfit will hope for a reversal at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, a venue that carries similar traits as RCB’s home – Chinnaswamy Stadium – in terms of a smooth pitch and a blistering outfield adding value to the batters’ shots.
But the aforementioned RCB quartet has company in the Royals’ ranks.
Yashasvi Jaiswal entered this iteration of IPL on the back of some excellent recent efforts, but the left-handed opener has made just 39 runs from three matches, and Jos Buttler offers a similar story.
The England T20 captain is yet to be in his intimidating self, and has managed 35 runs from three outings and his strike-rate across these matches is a mere 85.
The Royals’ batting has largely revolved around captain Sanju Samson (109 runs, one fifty) and the highly-improved Riyan Parag (181 runs, 2 fifties) and at some point, the duo will require solid support from others.
However, Rajasthan have an edge over their opponents in the bowling department.
Pacers Trent Boult and Nandre Burger and veteran leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal have worked up a nice early rhythm and have shared 16 wickets between them.
The out of touch Bengaluru batters might just find it tough to tackle the trio at its home turf.
The lone missing piece in Rajasthan’s bowling, rather surprising at that, is the patchy form of Ravichandran Ashwin, who has taken one wicket from three matches while giving away 8.3 runs per over.But the seasoned off-spinner can turn that around quickly, and he has a fine record against RCB as well.However, going by their last four matches, RCB seem to be lacking the variety or strength in their bowling to exploit the chinks in Rajasthan batting.
Left-arm pacer Yash Dayal and off-spinner Glenn Maxwell lead their wicket-takers’ chart with four wickets apiece but even that really is an inflated picture as the duo hasn’t been able to make any real impact on the proceedings.
Royal Challengers Bengaluru: Faf du Plessis (c), Glenn Maxwell, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash Prabhudessai, Will Jacks, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Mayank Dagar, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Rajan Kumar, Cameron Green, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Tom Curran, Lockie Ferguson, Swapnil Singh, Saurav Chauhan.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c), Jos Buttler, Shimron Hetmyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Donovan Ferreira, Kunal Rathore, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Sen, Navdeep Saini, Keshav Maharaj, Sandeep Sharma, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan, Rovman Powell, Shubham Dubey, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Abid Mushtaq, Nandre Burger.
Match starts at 7.30 PM. (PTI)

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