It will aim to beat an RCB side that has won on its last three visits here
Home is where the heart is, they say. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals would probably offer a vigorous nod to the adage. After all, their success in Pepsi IPL-VI has been built on strong victories at home.
Look at RCB’s performance. It has suffered defeat in all of its three away contests but a 100 per cent success record in the remaining six glosses over the failure to win outside Bengaluru.
Rajasthan Royals are only slightly better. One victory in four away contests wouldn’t evoke a hubristic celebration by Rahul Dravid’s men. Though, four wins in four at the Sawai Mansingh stadium does bring a sense of pride in the team.
However, when the two meet on Monday, RR will be aiming to defeat an RCB side which has won on its last three visits here.
While the pre-match preparation by Dravid’s side will definitely entail a discussion on Chris Gayle, it were A.B. de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan who pulverised the host at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in the previous edition to lead their team to a 46-run win.
The West Indian, however, did shatter the RR attack on his way to an unbeaten 70 off 44 balls two years ago. Positively, for Dravid, Gayle has only scored 1, 4 and 18 in this season’s away contests.
The new ball does seam considerably at the Sawai Mansingh stadium and teams batting first have crossed 150 only once. On Saturday against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dravid chose to field and RR managed to remove six of the opposition’s batsmen within the opening 30 minutes.
Monday’s game is also scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
While a Gayle onslaught may render the conditions irrelevant, RR possesses an equally destructive force in Shane Watson who has scored 101 and an unbeaten 98 in his last two innings.
The Australian’s compatriot James Faulkner has been similarly dangerous with the ball, picking up 16 wickets in six games.
When RCB met Dravid’s side at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier in the tournament, the former scampered home to a seven-wicket victory. RR has an opportunity to play the ‘bad’ host on Monday.