Big picture: Competition heats up
Only two points separate Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, and with the round-robin stage at its business end, they will be wary of not tightening things further. Three teams are locked at ten points each, one of whom are Royal Challengers.
While being placed sixth – the highest among those sides – and having the best NRR can still give them hope of a top-four finish, Royal Challengers travel to Jaipur following back-to-back defeats in Delhi and Mumbai, where the opposition chased down 182 and 200 respectively, with ease.
Rajasthan Royals WLLLW (Last five completed matches; most recent first)
Royal Challengers Bangalore LLWLW
Both teams have all players available for selection.
The big question
R Ashwin has got Virat Kohli only once in T20s, but Kohli has struggled against spin this season. Who will come out on top if they face-off again?
Impact Player strategy
Royals dropped Obed McCoy for their last game after using him as Impact Sub against Sunrisers Hyderabad. If he is left out again, Royals might swap either of Jaiswal or Dhruv Jurel with KM Asif depending on whether they are batting or bowling first.
RR probable XII: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Buttler, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Joe Root, 5 Devdutt Padikkal, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Dhruv Jurel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal, 12 KM Asif
Kedar Jadhav had replaced Mahipal Lomror as Impact Sub for Royal Challengers against Mumbai Indians, though it didn’t work out as intended. So if they bat first against Royals, they might start with Jadhav, and bring in either Mohammed Siraj or Harshal Patel when they bowl. And it could go the other way round if they happen to chase.
RCB probable XII: 1 Virat Kohli, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Glenn Maxwell, 4 Mahipal Lomror, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Anuj Rawat/Shahbaz Ahmed, 7 Kedar Jadhav, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Vyshak Vijaykumar, 11 Josh Hazlewood, 12 Mohammed Siraj
Stats that matter
Pitch and conditions
Jaipur has hosted four matches this season, and the scores batting first in the last three of those have swung from 202 to 118 to 214. All four games started at 7.30pm local time, with the side batting first as well as chasing winning twice each. However, the Royal Challengers match will be the first this season to begin at 3.30pm. And among all Indian grounds to have hosted at least 15 IPL matches starting at either 3.30 or 4pm, Jaipur has the lowest run rate of 7.92.
Meanwhile, the temperature in Jaipur is expected to hover around 40 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, though it might fall as evening draws closer.
Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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