RCB’s much-vaunted batting line-up in focus at the Chinnaswamy

Virat Kohli. Source: IPL

At the MA Chidambaram stadium, IPL 2024 was unveiled with Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru taking on each other in a battle of rasam and sambar. Eventually, RCB slipped to yet another loss against their arch-rivals. But in a league-based tournament, there isn’t much time to recover. Just a few days after losing to CSK, RCB will play a franchise based in North of India, Punjab Kings, albeit at their homeground, the Chinnaswamy. 

What can RCB do to chisel out the right path? For starters, they would pin their hopes on Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green to regain their mojo in good conditions for batting at the Chinnaswamy. Faf du Plessis, the skipper, played with a sense of freedom in the previous game. 

One of the positives for RCB against CSK was Anuj Rawat’s 25-ball 48. In the past, RCB have backed Rawat  to the hilt. Perhaps, this is the season when they would reap the benefits of it. The southpaw-batter was judicious in his shot selection, picking the right ball to hit. 

The think tank might also rejig the side by bringing in Reece Topley for Alzarri Joseph. Especially in RCB’s first game, he could have proved to be useful. Topley tends to bowl a fuller length, which was synonymous with the long straight boundary measured at 80 metres in Chennai.

Meanwhile, PBKS emerged victorious against Delhi Capitals in Mullanpur. PBKS sending Sam Curran to bat at No.4 worked for the side, with the all-rounder composing a brisk fifty. Liam Livingstone also played a role with an undefeated 38. One of the areas that has hurt PBKS in the past has been death-overs bowling. And that returned to haunt them in their previous outing, with Harshal Patel going for plenty of runs in the last over. \

Can RCB’s much-vaunted batting unit fire on all cylinders in front of their loyal fans? Will PBKS’s bowlers adapt to slightly different conditions at the Chinnaswamy? 

Time and venue: 7.30 PM, Chinnaswamy Stadium

Expected conditions: Generally, the tracks at the Chinnaswamy favour the batters, especially at the start of an IPL season. The city has been experiencing a drought-like situation.  So, rain isn’t expected through the course of the game.

Team News

RCB could contemplate bringing in Topley for Joseph. Yash Dayal or Dinesh Karthik could be the impact player, depending on the toss. Meanwhile, Prabhsimran Singh might turn out to be one of the chosen impact players for the Punjab side.

Key battles 

Virat Kohli against the left-arm spin of Harpreet Brar, as the latter takes the ball away from the right-hander. Anuj Rawat going up against Kagiso Rabada’s hard lengths.

“The communication to me has been very clear. I am supposed to be batting down the order but if we lose early wickets, I have to bat in the middle order. Keeping wicket last season in the last couple of games gave me a lot of confidence, and I am looking forward to continuing as a wicketkeeper-batsman this season as well.” RCB’s Rawat




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