Indian Premier League 2019: A battle between the Royals to end the losing streak

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Both teams have been more than disappointing thus far in the IPL and need a win to revive their respective campaigns.

If the Rajasthan Royals men are feeling let down by fortune, they cannot be blamed.

In their last match, M.S. Dhoni hadn’t opened his account, and Chennai Super Kings was wobbling at 28 for three at Chennai, when he played Jofra Archer on to his stumps. But the bails refused to come off, the Kings captain went on to make an unbeaten 75 and led his team to a third-straight win.

For Ajinkya Rahane’s men, it was their third straight defeat. Theirs isn’t the only team in this plight, though.

Their opponent for Tuesday’s match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Royal Challengers Bangalore, doesn’t know what a victory feels like this IPL season either. Unlike Rajasthan, Virat Kohli’s men know pretty well how they are getting destroyed by the opposition: they lost by seven wickets to Super Kings and by 118 runs to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

To be fair, they were at the receiving end of the no-ball controversy in the match against Mumbai Indians, which they lost by just six runs.

The Royals, of course, were at the wrong end of an even bigger controversy — R. Ashwin’s Mankading of Jos Buttler.

Moving on

The memory of that incident could well be on their minds when they return to their home ground. They will have to put that behind them, as they play the first of their three back-to-back games here. They will also want to ensure that they don’t lose opportunities the way they did in the previous games.

Buttler, Rahane, Sanju Samson and Steve Smith have all looked good enough to inspire confidence in batting.

But when it comes to bowling, their standout performer Archer needs better support from fellow-seamers like Jaydev Unadkat.

It has been an even more disappointing bowling effort from RCB. Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and co. have to do a lot better than they did against David Warner and Jonny Bairstow on Sunday.

Not that the RCB batsmen have exactly crowned themselves in glory. But a line-up that features Kohli, de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer and Moeen Ali could erupt any time.

There is indeed much to look forward to. Neither team will want to be the team still looking for its first win after four matches.

Squads:

Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ashton Turner, Ish Sodhi, Oshane Thomas, Liam Livingstone, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Shubham Ranjane, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Sudhesan Midhun, Jaydev Unadkat, Prashant Chopra, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Riyan Parag, Dhawal Kulkarni, Krishnappa Gowtham, Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Manan Vohra, Rahul Tripathi

Royal Challengers Bengaluru: Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee.

Match starts 8 pm IST.

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