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IPL Eliminator: Struggling Rajasthan Royals take on revitalized Royal Challengers Bengaluru | Cricket News

Miracle men meet self-destructors
AHMEDABAD: Having taken contrasting paths to reach the Eliminator of IPL 2024, Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) take the field at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Wednesday to keep their campaign alive. The league stage record matters little in a knockout match and RCB look like a team with the momentum.
IPL ORANGE CAP | IPL PURPLE CAP
RR won eight of their first nine matches and looked good to top the table before a string of four defeats and a no-result saw them being leapfrogged by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad.RCB took an altogether different route. After winning just one of their first eight matches, they won six on the bounce to clinch the fourth place and make the playoffs.
With their confidence sky-high, RCB will again bank on Purple Cap holder Virat Kohli for runs. Captain Faf Du Plessis, who has aggregated 421 runs, is also back in form and striking at a rate of 163.81.
The middle-order comprising Rajat Patidar, Cameron Green, Dinesh Karthik, Mahipal Lomror and Glenn Maxwell have come to the party at the right time. While Patidar and Green have done the bulk of the scoring in the middle overs, Karthik, Lomror and Maxwell are tasked with upping the momentum in the death overs.

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In Trent Boult and Sandeep Sharma, however, RR have two pacers who can swing the ball early and pose questions to Kohli and Co. Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (17 wickets) is the top wicket-taker for RR. Veteran off-spinner Ravinchandran Ashwin (7 wickets) has been less effective but has kept a check on run rate by going at 8.61 runs an over.
Tall South African left-arm pacer Nandre Burger is an option on the Ahmedabad track but it remains to be seen if RR exercise that option by including him in the playing XI or using him as an impact player. Pacer Avesh Khan (13 wickets) has been used by RR in the middle and death overs effectively. Rajasthan’s batting looks a little uncertain with the exit of England batter Jos Buttler.
With opener Yashasvi Jaiswal‘s form (348 runs) blowing hot and cold, the batting responsibilities have been shared by captain Sanju Samson (504 runs) and in-form Riyan Parag (531). West Indian Rovman Powell and middle order Dhruv Jurel haven’t exactly set the house on fire with their batting contributions but remain a vital cog in RR’s playing unit.

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Ridiculed in the first half of the season for its inability to defend totals or stop teams from setting daunting targets, RCB’s bowling attack has been incisive in the last six matches. They have been backed by inspirational fielding, examples of which can be found in Kohli’s direct hits to run opposition batters out and Du Plessis’ catch to send Mitchell Santner back in the last match.
The pacer duo of Mohammed Siraj (13 wickets) and Yash Dayal (15 wickets) have started hitting the right lengths and made it difficult to score in the powerplay. They have been backed by pacer Lockie Ferguson, left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh, leg spinner Karn Sharma and all-rounders Maxwell and Green.

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