Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals
Tuesday, April 26th: 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Bangalore humiliated in Mumbai
Royal Challengers will want to move swiftly on from their poor display at the Brabourne Stadium at the weekend. A total of just 68 was never going to challenge an in-form Sunrisers team who chased down their target with a full 12 overs to spare.
Virat Kohli’s form is an obvious concern: He registered his second first-ball duck in succession on Saturday but there is a lack of consistency throughout the batting line up. Faf Du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell have delivered on occasions but need more support.
The bowling unit could do little as they looked to defend 69 in Mumbai but this has been a stronger area for RCB. Josh Hazlewood has been effective since arriving late while Mohammed Siraj has been fast and hostile with the new white ball.
The Buttler did it – again
A year ago, Jos Buttler was waiting for his first IPL century. Now he has four in this tournament including three in this edition. His numbers are phenomenal this season: Buttler is only the second batter, after Virat Kohli, to hit three tons in a single IPL campaign and he’s currently cruising in the Orange Cap race.
Rajasthan are not a one man team: Sanju Samson and Devdutt Padikkal added 100 between them as the Royals posted 222/2 against Delhi. The Daredevils came close to chasing that down with Rajasthan’s fifth bowler option proving costly.
With Yuzvendra Chahal ahead in the Purple Cap battle, there is danger throughout the team but Jos Buttler is clearly the key wicket.
Can RCB find relief in Pune?
Du Plessis’ Royal Challengers will be happy to leave the Brabourne behind as they cross to the MCA International Stadium in Pune. RCB won on their previous visit to this ground, easing past Mumbai Indians by seven wickets.
Rajasthan also won on their only trip to Pune, recording a comfortable victory over the Sunrisers. This is just the seventh game to be played here this season. The previous six matches have returned an average first innings score of 176. Three scores above 170 have been successfully defended while the remaining three – at 169 and below – have been chased down.
Whoever wins the toss will likely look to insert and keep the opposition below that average first innings total.
It’s tight at the top of the betting: Rajasthan are ahead at 1.9620/21 while the Royal Challengers are only just behind at 1.991/1. In terms of overall results at IPL 15, there’s not much to split the teams. Both have ten points but the Royals have played seven games as opposed to RCB’s eight.
Immediate form should be a stronger indicator. Bangalore were dismal on Saturday and, while they can’t get any worse, there are clear issues in the camp. Rajasthan have greater depth and I’d have faith in this team, even if Jos Buttler were to fail.
When one player starts to dominate a Top Batter market, there are some interesting prices among their teammates. Jos Buttler is predictably short for Rajasthan although a price boost on the sportsbook lifts him to 21/10.
Devdutt Padikkal is next at 10/3 with Shimron Hetmyer at 9/2 but the player that interests me is Sanju Samson. The skipper has been a consistent foil and top scored on one of the few occasions when Buttler failed. Samson looks generous at 9/2 and is my recommended bet for Tuesday.
It’s been great to watch Yuzvendra Chahal spin Rajasthan to success in this tournament. If you’re looking for a third pick, Yuzi looks an obvious choice at 9/4 to be the Royals’ leading wicket taker.
Over at the #OddsOnThat section of the sportsbook, he forms an elaborate, but plausible option. Chahal to take at least one wicket, plus Jos Buttler, Devdutt Padikkal and Sanju Samson to score at least 20 runs is a serious tempter at 5/1.