Forty-eight hours after the battle of ‘Kings’ at the Brabourne Stadium, a ‘royal battle’ will take place at the Wankhede Stadium when an in-form Rajasthan Royals take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.
Much against the trend seen in this edition of the Indian Premier League, Royals posted two wins by defending targets, against former champion Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. This underlines the Royals’ belief in the quality of their resources.
In contrast, the Challengers have gone with the tide - lost the toss and the match against Punjab Kings by five wickets and won the toss and the game against Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets.
Notably for the Royals, except the Kiwi Trent Boult, all bowling options are home-grown internationals - Prasidh Krishna, Navdeep Saini, R. Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal.
With Jos Buttler making his presence felt with a 100 against Mumbai Indians, and the duo of Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer contributing, the failure of Devdutt Paddikkal was lost in the background. Overall, going by the balance of the teams, Royals is the early favourite to go all the way.
An unconvincing Challengers’ lone win in two matches came after the side's bowlers set it up in a low-scoring encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders. It was indeed a great comeback for the bowlers after looking so ineffective in the defence of 205 in the opener against Punjab
Kings. Against the Royals, the Challengers will have to raise the bar a few notches to pose a threat.