Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview and Prediction: Will Rajasthan Continue Fast Start?

Rajasthan Royals star Jos Buttler in action for England.
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In what should be an entertaining clash, the in-form Rajasthan Royals will take on Faf du Plessis’ Royal Challengers Bangalore in a crucial early season IPL clash. Rajasthan Royals have won both their opening matches and look to be in with a real chance of a title tilt this year. RCB, meanwhile, will be hoping that this is the year they finally shake their tag as perennial underachievers. Who will come out on top? Read on for our full Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore preview and prediction:

Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview and Prediction

IPL So Far

Rajasthan Royals started their season with a dominant win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, largely thanks to some superb hitting from Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer followed by a disciplined display with the new ball. That saw Sunrisers Hyderabad’s top four dismissed having scored just four runs between them which doomed their chase before it got started. They backed that up with an excellent 23-run win over Mumbai Indians, with Jos Buttler scoring a fine century – the first of IPL 2022.

Royal Challengers Bangalore have not made quite such an assured start to IPL 2022. In their opening match of the tournament, they were unable to defend 205 against Punjab Kings with a cameo from Odean Smith settling the match in Punjab’s favour. But they bounced back from that frustration to get the better of Kolkata Knight Riders. On a tricky surface, some good lower-order hitting from the experienced Dinesh Karthik, assisted ably by Shahbaz Ahmed, was enough to get them over the line.

Expected Teams

Rajasthan Royals will no doubt stick with their opening combination of Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal, with Devdutt Padikkal (up against his old team) and captain Samson in at three and four. Hetmyer will bat at five, with Riyan Parag at six. Rajasthan do, however, have a long tail with R Ashwin batting at seven, Navdeep Saini at eight and New Zealand quick Trent Boult as high as nine. Prasidh Krishna and Yuzvendra Chahal will complete the XI for the Royals.

Du Plessis will open the batting for RCB alongside Anuj Rawat with Virat Kohli in his customary position at number three. Karthik will bat at four, though he may slide down the order depending on the match situation. Sherfane Rutherford will bat at five, with Ahmed at six and Wanindu Hasaranga at seven. He may have a crucial role to play. David Willey will bat at eight (keeping his place ahead of Josh Hazlewood) with Harshal Patel at nine, Mohammad Siraj at 10 and Akash Deep at 11.

Prediction

Matchups could be key here. It will be particularly concerning to Rajasthan Royals that both Buttler and Samson – the lynchpins of their batting unit – have historically struggled against Hasaranga, particularly as he comes into this match in very fine form. But the Royals line-up nonetheless looks that much more exciting that RCB’s, even with their long tail. If they can maintain the form they have shown with the bat so far, expect them to have just about too much for Royal Challenger Bangalore.

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