Royal Challengers Bangalore thumped Rajasthan Royals when the two sides met in an IPL 2015 game in Ahmedabad five days ago. Come Wednesday, RCB will look to fashion another convincing win, this time in front of their own fans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, while RR will look for a bit of revenge.
RCB will have mixed feeling of returning to their home ground, because in six matches this season, all three of their losses have come in Bangalore, with the three victories coming away from home.
Two of those wins, in consecutive games, have come thanks to their bowlers – not something you usually associate with RCB – with the Virat Kohli-led side galvanised by the return of Mitchell Starc. The Australian has made a huge impact to the Royal Challengers Bangalore side, leading from the front and giving the rest of the bowlers the confidence that they can restrict the opposition batsmen.
In the first of those two games – against the Royals – the RCB bowlers kept the much-vaunted RR batting lineup to just 130, which they chased down in 16 overs with nine wickets to spare. On Sunday, against the Delhi Daredevils, RCB again let the white ball do the talking, by bowling out the home side for a paltry 95. Chris Gayle and Kohli then ensured the match would be over in a hurry with an unbeaten partnership for the first wicket.
"We have back-to-back games now and that is good because we can carry the momentum and keep going," RCB all-rounder David Wiese said. "We are looking to make the Chinnaswamy Stadium our fortress once again.
"Our preparation before the last few games has been really good. We have gone, sat down and been honest with ourselves in saying that we need to improve. We have started to analyse oppositions and get good specific game plans in place.
"Our bowling attack has really stepped up in the last two games. With Mitch Starc coming in, he has been a massive asset for us as he has led the attack from the front. The bowlers have realised that we haven't been good enough at the start of the tournament and we have improved.
"Starc sets the tone for us with the first ball and the other bowlers just feed off him. He has been helping the guys out in the nets and it is nice to have a world-class bowler like him around, learn from him and mimic what he does."
So, the biggest task for the Rajasthan Royals will be to nullify the threat posed by Starc. If Starc has a bad game, there is a good chance that the rest of the RCB bowlers will follow as well. RR have Australians in Shane Watson, Steven Smith and James Faulkner in their lineup, and the trio will know all about their compatriot.
If Watson and Smith, in particular, can set the tone of the innings at the top alongside the in-form Ajinkya Rahane, RR will be in business against RCB, who will feel the pressure of having to perform at home to try and clinch their first win at the Chinnaswamy this season.
The Royals could not bounce back immediately after that loss to RCB as their game against KKR at the weekend was washed out. That also means they will be a more rested team than their opponents; if that is a good or a bad thing will be known only at around 11.30 pm tonight.
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RCB vs Rajasthan Royals is scheduled to for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start. Live TV coverage in India will be on Sony Six (English), Sony Max (Hindi), Sony Kix (Telugu and Tamil) and Sony Aath (Bengali). RCB vs RR can also be watched via online live streaming on HotStar and Starsports.com.
Viewers in the UK and Europe can watch the match live on Sky Sports, while the live stream option is on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. Catch the match live in the Middle East on OSN, while the action can also be live streamed on OSN Play.
ESPN Cricket is the place to go to live stream Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals in the US, while the game can also be watched live on TV on ESPN. Audience across the world can go to Cricketgateway.com to catch the big IPL match live.