Winless Royals, Challengers face-off in bid to break duck

Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore have both lost all their three games in the 2019 Indian Premier League season.

Ben Stokes Virat Kohli IPL 2019

Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore are placed seventh and eighth on the IPL points table.   -  IPL/SPORTZPICS

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 in Chennai, when he played Jofra Archer on to his stumps. But the bails refused to come off and the Super 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 that is in a similar plight, though.

READ | SRH hammering RCB's 'worst loss ever', says skipper Kohli

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

To be fair, they were also 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 a controversy of their own – R. Ashwin’s Mankading of Jos Buttler.

Jaydev Unadkat has been on the expensive side in Royals' bowling department, conceding 124 runs in 10 overs in IPL 2019. PHOTO:IPL/SPORTZPICS   -  IPL/SPORTZPICS

 

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. The Royals would also want to ensure that they don’t fritter away the opportunities as they have done 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.

RCB misfiring on all fronts

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, AB 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.

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