IPL 2020: Preview - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals - RR Look to Leave Sharjah Mode, RCB Seek Momentum

Time for the 'Royal' battle. Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Rajasthan Royals in the first afternoon game of IPL 2020 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

IPL 2020: Preview - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals - RR Look to Leave Sharjah Mode, RCB Seek Momentum

Time for the 'Royal' battle. Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Rajasthan Royals in the first afternoon game of IPL 2020 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. Both teams are on 4 points with two wins from three games, with Rajasthan having the better net run-rate. Bangalore, though, are having the better momentum having defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians in their previous match while Rajasthan suffered a big loss to Kolkata Knight Riders in their latest game.

It's early days in the tournament but it's already clear that teams are evenly matches, which means every point will be crucial going into the latter stages. Which team will get the two crucial points on Saturday?

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Rajasthan Royals

RR started the tournament with a bang with a couple of victories in Sharjah. They adjusted to the small ground and flat pitch superbly, out-batting CSK and KXIP with the relentless big hits, led by Sanju Samson. With two consecutive wins in the pocket, they came to Dubai high on confidence but failed to adjust to the different pitch and ground dimensions.

As captain Steve Smith said after the game, a few of their batsmen thought they were still in Sharjah. It included himself as he too fell cheaply looking for a big hit.

RR have a more or less settled side but will need to tinker a few things. Their batting beyond the top three of Smith, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson is thin. Do they keep faith in Robin Uthappa in the middle order? Or do they bring back Yashasvi Jaiswal to open and push Smith to No. 4? Or how about bringing in David Miller for Tom Curran? Curran made that choice difficult scoring a fighting half-century in the last game.

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The other issue for RR is the form of Shreyas Gopal. He, understandably, struggled in Sharjah. However, a spell of 0/43 in DUbai against KKR will do his confidence no good. He has picked up only 1 wicket from three matches so far and has to bounce back to give RR the control in the middle overs. Their new ball and death bowling is more or less sorted with Jofra Archer's presence.

Predicted XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Rajpoot

Royal Challengers Bangalore

W L W. RCB have been punching hot and cold this season. But they'll take 2 out of 3 especially given they lost their first six last season. Among that 2 is a victory over Mumbai, which they won in a Super Over.

RCB are getting closer to playing their best combination. They started the tournament by giving Dale Steyn a couple of games but he's clearly not at his best. Isuru Udana and Adam Zampa came in for the last game, and although they weren't good either, it gives them more balance going forward. If Chris Morris is fit, he walks into the team being a death bowler and a lower order batsman.

RCB, though, will be concerned that they let the Mumbai game go to a Super Over. They let MI score 104 runs in the last 6 overs, before Navdeep Saini bailed them out with a terrific Super Over.

Their batting fell in place though, with Devdutt Padikkal showing consistency and Aaron Finch striking form, before de Villiers did what he does best. Virat Kohli is yet to strike form, but he can't go too long without a big score.

Unless Morris is fit and/or AB de Villiers can't keep wickets, there's little to change in the RCB team. Moeen Ali for Zampa could be an option going forward, but they might not do that given Washington Sundar's terrific spell of 1/12 in 4 overs against Mumbai.

Predicted XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana/Chris Morris, Adam Zampa, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini