With five wins from eight matches, Rajasthan Royals (RR) have looked solid in IPL 2015 so far as they are placed second in the standings table. The Shane Watson-led side can overtake Chennai Super Kings at the top of the table if they turn triumphant against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
RCB led by Virat Kohli may not have hit top gear, but they are one of the strongest teams in the competition when at home. RCB have only won three out of their six matches, which is sub-standard for the number of world class players at their disposal. On paper, they have the strongest batting line-up in the tournament with the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers at the top of the order.
The Rajasthan Royals too are no small team as they have a number of 2015 World Cup winners in their team. The game between the two may well be decided by the performance of the foreign players in their squad.
However, here is a look at two key players from both the sides.
Shane Watson: The Australian has formed a formidable opening pair with Ajinkya Rahane, where the Australian has tried to play an aggressor's role. He has scored 144 runs in three matches with an impressive strike rate of 138. Apart from his batting, the all-rounder can roll his arm over when required with his medium pace, which has helped him take one wicket so far.
Pravin Tambe: Wrist spinners have been mighty impressive in the tournament and RR's Pravin Tambe like the last season has been bowling splendidly well in the middle overs of the game. He has managed to take six wickets in IPL 2015 with an economy rate of 7.12, which is decent in a high scoring T20 tournament. Despite his age, 43, he has been one of the best bowlers for RR and needs to be at his best with top batsmen such as Kohli, Gayle and De Villiers at the other end.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Mitchell Starc: With an average of 9.42, Australia's World Cup hero after having only played three games so far has been the stand-out bowler for RCB with seven wickets in this campaign. Not only has the bowler been unplayable with the new ball, but his yorkers during the death overs have been impossible to score of as well. With two Australian batsmen in RR top order, Starc will be a key bowler for RCB skipper Kohli.
Chris Gayle: The West Indian batsmen is the most feared batsmen in world cricket as he clears the fence with utmost ease. Opening the innings for Kohli's side, Gayle has been ominous with 209 runs in IPL 2015 including 13 massive sixes. If RCB opener stays at the crease for more than 10 overs, half the game is already won for RCB, as Gayle scores at an amazing strike rate. Gayle may not have been used as a bowler yet, but he can bowl some useful off-breaks, if required.