Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bengaluru: Preview and Prediction

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Rajasthan Royals will face off against Royal Challengers Bengaluru on May 22nd

The cash-rich tournament has reached a pivotal stage where the margin for error and the spectre of choking diminishes to absolute zero. In this decisive juncture, a single misstep could send a team packing their bags, homeward bound. 

Among the contenders are Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru, facing each other for the second time in the 2024 Indian Premier League season. This encounter, however, is the crucial Eliminator match.

The high-octane showdown is scheduled for Wednesday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. As the name suggests, the loser of this match will be eliminated from the tournament, while the winner will move on to face the loser of Qualifier 1 in Chennai.

In this royal tussle, only one team can advance closer to the coveted trophy. The question remains: which team will hold their nerve on this critical occasion? Will it be Sanju Samson‘s RR, who already have a trophy from the inaugural IPL season, or will it be the fan-favourite RCB, led by Faf du Plessis, who are still in pursuit of their first championship title?

What has happened so far?

The journey to the knockout stage has been a tale of stark contrasts for both teams, with one riding high on a wave of victories while the other struggles against a tide of defeats.

For RCB, their path to the playoffs has been nothing short of miraculous, marked by a stunning turnaround. After enduring seven losses in their first eight matches, many had written off the team from Karnataka.

However, as the month of May unfolded, fortunes shifted dramatically. Under the guidance of coach Andy Flower, RCB experienced an unprecedented resurgence, clinching victory in all six subsequent matches to close their campaign with seven wins and seven losses, securing the fourth spot. Their latest victory came against Chennai in an all-important clash, which played a major role in their qualification.

Conversely, RR fans have witnessed a reversal of fortunes for their team. Initially dominating with eight wins in their first nine games, their momentum faltered as May arrived, with four consecutive losses denting their aspirations.

Their hopes of a top-two finish were further dashed when persistent rain forced the abandonment of their last league match against Kolkata, leaving them in third place with eight wins and five losses.

Head to Head Record

In their head-to-head encounters, RCB has emerged victorious 15 times against the pink jersey Royals, who have managed to secure victory in 13 matches out of the 31 games they’ve contested. The remaining three matches ended without a decisive result. 

However, in their most recent encounter, RR secured a comfortable six-wicket victory in their favour. 

Key Players

Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals): On the opposing side, Rajasthan skipper, Sanju Samson, emerges as the linchpin, tasked with steering his team through the pressures of the big occasion. Reflecting on his earlier clash against RCB this season, the Trivandrum-born batsman delivered a balanced and crucial innings of 69 runs off 42 balls.

As the second-highest run-scorer for RR this season, Samson has accumulated 504 runs in 13 innings at an impressive average of 56 and a strike rate of 156.5, featuring five half-centuries. Much hinges on the performance of the Royals’ captain, as his team looks to rely on him for another impactful contribution against the formidable RCB bowling attack.

Kohli is just 29 runs shy of becoming the first-ever player to smash 8000 IPL runs

Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bengaluru): Virat Kohli, the best in the business and former RCB captain, enters the Eliminator with heightened motivation, keenly aware of the circumstances under which his team secured a playoff spot and a single loss would reset their progress to zero. 

Every RCBian fervently hopes for a repeat of Kohli’s masterful innings against the same opponents, RR, in April, when the seasoned batsman smashed an unbeaten 113 runs off 72 balls. 

However, this time, their loyal fans also prayed for those runs to culminate in a victory, as despite Kohli’s heroics, RCB fell short in that match. As the current holder of the Orange Cap, the Delhi-born cricketer boasts an impressive tally of 708 runs in 14 innings, sporting the best average of 64.36 in the ongoing tournament.

Team News from Both Camps

Both teams are expected to stick with the same playing XI. However, both RCB and RR have been heavily affected by the absence of their English players, Will Jacks, Reece Topley and Jos Buttler have returned home for international duties leaving holes in the top order of both sides.

Fortunately, there are no significant injury concerns that could potentially spoil the upcoming match for either team and their fans.

Predicted XIs

Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sanju Samson © (wk), Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Rovman Powell, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal

Royal Challengers Bengaluru: Faf du Plessis ©, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Rajat Patidar, Cameron Green, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Karn Sharma, Yash Dayal, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammed Siraj


Predicting the winner based on current form should indeed be straightforward, with RCB appearing as formidable as a squad of wounded tigers, poised to overcome RR on Wednesday. 

Yet, in the high-stakes arena of a knockout match, especially in the rapid-fire 20-over format, victory hinges on survival and seizing those crucial clutch moments. The team that navigates these pressure-cooker situations with precision will secure their berth in Qualifier 2.