The IPL 2024 season has been a roller-coaster ride, with dramatic comebacks and unexpected twists. One of the most compelling stories of the season is the resurgence of Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). Effectively ruled out of contention for the playoffs, the Bengaluru side defied all odds and bounced back to win six games on the bounce – a feat no team has achieved this IPL season. The history of the IPL is replete with such long unbeaten runs – RCB themselves had won seven in a row in 2011 – but never before has such a winning streak been so dramatic. RCB’s fightback has been the story of the 2024 season, the comeback story of the season.

As RCB clash with the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Eliminator at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, it will be a Royal battle – literally and metaphorically. Captained by Faf du Plessis and piloted by Virat Kohli, RCB are on a roll while the Sanju Samson-led Royals have had their moments and will be no pushovers. It will be a contest between sides that are equal in strength. The only difference is that RCB are coming off six consecutive wins while RR are entering the match with four back-to-back losses and one washout. The momentum, if it means something in sport, is with the Bengaluru side.

Team Form and Momentum

Royal Challengers Bengaluru

RCB’s remarkable turnaround has been the talk of the tournament. After a dismal start to the season, they found their form just in time to make a late charge into the playoffs. This six-match winning streak is a testament to their resilience and the leadership of Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli. The team has clicked as a unit with contributions from both the batters and the bowlers.

Virat Kohli has been pivotal in this resurgence, playing crucial innings and leading from the front. His partnership with Faf du Plessis at the top has provided RCB with strong starts. Glenn Maxwell has been a significant contributor in the middle order, not just with his explosive batting but also with his useful off-spin bowling.

On the bowling front, Mohammed Siraj has found his rhythm, delivering crucial breakthroughs in the powerplay. Yash Dayal, after a match-winning last over against CSK, has brought confidence to the bowling unit. Karn Sharma has been impressive with his leg-spin, and his experience of being part of three IPL-winning sides makes him a valuable asset.

Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals have had a contrasting journey. After a promising start, they faltered towards the end of the season with four consecutive losses and a washout. Despite this, the Royals cannot be underestimated. Sanju Samson’s leadership and the presence of experienced campaigners like Trent Boult and Ravichandran Ashwin make them a formidable opponent.

Yashasvi Jaiswal has been a revelation at the top of the order, providing explosive starts and setting the tone for the innings. The middle order, however, has been inconsistent, with the likes of Riyan Parag and Rovman Powell struggling to find form. The bowling attack, led by Boult and Chahal, remains potent, capable of turning the game around.

Key Battles

Virat Kohli vs Trent Boult

One of the most anticipated battles will be between Virat Kohli and Trent Boult. Boult has a knack for taking early wickets and has often struck in the first over itself. Kohli, known for his ability to dominate the powerplay, will need to be cautious against Boult’s swinging deliveries. Boult’s success in the powerplay could set the tone for the Royals.

Rajat Patidar vs Royals Spin Duo

Rajat Patidar has been in sublime form, particularly against spin. His ability to counterattack spinners has been a key factor in RCB’s resurgence. The middle-over contest will pit him against RR’s spin duo of R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. Ashwin, after a lacklustre start, has found his groove, while Chahal, despite being slightly out of form, remains a dangerous prospect.

Faf du Plessis vs Nandre Burger

The clash of the South Africans will be another intriguing aspect of the match. Faf du Plessis has been leading from the front, and his battle with RR’s Nandre Burger will be a crucial one. Burger has been effective with the new ball, and how du Plessis handles him will have a significant impact on the game.

Sandeep Sharma’s Impact

Sandeep Sharma has had a good success rate against RCB, having taken 26 wickets in 18 games. His ability to swing the ball and deliver in pressure situations makes him a key player for the Royals. His matchup against the RCB top order, particularly Kohli, who he has dismissed seven times in 67 balls, could be a decisive factor.

Tactics and Match-Ups

Rajasthan Royals

RR will look to exploit the weaknesses of the RCB lineup. They might use Sandeep Sharma early on to target Kohli and du Plessis. The use of spinners in the middle overs will be crucial to contain the RCB batsmen. Ashwin and Chahal will need to be at their best to counter Patidar and Maxwell.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru

RCB will rely on their bowlers to deliver early breakthroughs. Siraj’s form in the powerplay will be vital in restricting the RR openers. Yash Dayal’s success against Yashasvi Jaiswal could be a significant advantage. In the middle overs, Karn Sharma’s experience and Maxwell’s off-spin will be key in controlling the run rate.

Pitch and Conditions

The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is known for being a good batting surface, with high scores being a common occurrence. However, there is some assistance for bowlers with extra bounce and the occasional ball sticking in the surface. Teams will look to take advantage of the powerplay and build a strong platform.

Predicted XI

Rajasthan Royals

  1. Yashasvi Jaiswal
  2. Tom Kohler-Cadmore
  3. Sanju Samson (c/wk)
  4. Riyan Parag
  5. Dhruv Jurel
  6. Rovman Powell
  7. Ravichandran Ashwin
  8. Trent Boult
  9. Sandeep Sharma
  10. Avesh Khan
  11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Impact Sub: Nandre Burger

Royal Challengers Bengaluru

  1. Faf du Plessis (c)
  2. Virat Kohli
  3. Glenn Maxwell
  4. Rajat Patidar
  5. Cameron Green
  6. Mahipal Lomror
  7. Dinesh Karthik (wk)
  8. Karn Sharma
  9. Yash Dayal
  10. Lockie Ferguson
  11. Mohammed Siraj

Impact Sub: Swapnil Singh


Given the current form and momentum, RCB seem to have an edge going into this match. Their winning streak has boosted their confidence, and the team looks well-balanced with both batting and bowling firing. However, cricket is a game of uncertainties, and RR, despite their recent form, have the capability to turn things around, especially with their potent bowling attack.

Key to the game will be how well RR’s bowlers, particularly Boult and Chahal, can contain the explosive RCB batting lineup. If they can strike early and apply pressure in the middle overs, RR have a strong chance. On the other hand, if RCB’s top order gets going, it could be a long night for the Royals.

Ultimately, the team that handles the pressure better on the day and executes their plans with precision will come out on top. Both teams have the talent and firepower to win, but the momentum, if it means something in sport, is with the Bengaluru side. Fans can expect a thrilling contest, as two of the IPL’s most exciting teams battle it out for a spot in the next round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *