The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will meet the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in game 39 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. Bangalore had a horror match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) as they were bundled out for 68 in 16.1 overs. They will look to put that behind them as they have had a good tournament otherwise. They are in the fifth position in the points table, with five wins and three losses from eight games. Rajasthan are in third place, with five wins and two losses from seven games. Ahead of the RCB vs RR clash, here are five player battles to watch out for.
1. Jos Buttler vs Josh Hazlewood: The Jos vs Josh battle in IPL 2022. RR opener Jos Buttler has been in unbelievable form with the willow. He already has nearly 500 runs in the tournament, having clubbed three hundreds and two fifties. In fact, he has crossed the three-figure mark in his last two visits to the crease. Writers are running out of adjectives to describe Buttler’s incredible batting. He is due for a failure and RCB will know the same. Josh Hazlewood looks the best bet against Buttler. The Aussie has been in terrific wicket-taking form. He can look to unsettle the RR opener with his pace and variations, something similar to what Lockie Ferguson did for the Gujarat Titans.
2. Faf du Plessis vs Prasidh Krishna: It has been all or nothing for RCB skipper Faf du Plessis in IPL 2022 so far. He has played two excellent knocks so far, but has failed in all the other matches. If he gets his eye in, Faf looks a different player, but he can also be dismissed early as has been observed in the tournament. His tussle with Prasidh Krishna will be an interesting one. The RR bowler has the ability to knock over big batters. In contrast, Faf can score plenty of him as he enjoys pace on to the bat.
3. Sanju Samson vs Wanindu Hasaranga: So far, there has only been one winner in this battle. Sri Lankan leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has been absolutely dominant over Sanju Samson. Hasaranga has bowled only 15 balls to Samson in T20s. He has conceded eight runs, but more significantly, has dismissed him four times. When the teams met earlier in the tournament, the spinner again had the RR captain’s number, who looked completely clueless. Samson will be well aware of his horrible stats against Hasaranga and will be keen to make an emphatic statement.
4. Dinesh Karthik vs Trent Boult: That Dinesh Karthik registered a failure in the last match against SRH was the ultimate proof that RCB were having a bad day. Karthik has been absolutely sensational for Bangalore in the death overs. He will be confident of putting up a good show with the bat again. The veteran cricketer has utilized the depth of the crease to the fullest to score big. RR’s left-arm seamer Trent Boult has been expensive since returning from injury. However, he is an excellent match-up against Karthik. If he can get his yorkers and short balls right, he could trouble the in-form batter.
5. Shimron Hetmyer vs Harshal Patel: Another death overs battle that could be thrilling to watch. With Buttler setting up the platform, Shimron Hetmyer has got a free hand to come in and go hammer and tongs from the word go. He has done a fantastic job, playing a number of blazing cameos. Hetmyer, however, will be up against the guile of Harshal Patel in the match against RCB. The versatile seamer has plenty of tricks up his sleeve with regard to variations. He will look to unsettle Hetmyer using the same. Will he be successful in his endeavour?