Bangalore v Rajasthan: Royals' batting deserves more respect

Jos Buttler.
Jos Buttler is part of a strong Rajasthan batting unit.
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An interesting game in prospect and one where Rajasthan can upset the odds against a somewhat one-dimensional Bangalore. Jamie Pacheco talks us through it all, also including Bangalore Top Bowler and Rajasthan Top Batsman bets...

"It’s also worth pointing out that this win was Bangalore’s first in six home games. To me this looks like a shoot-out between two strong batting line-ups that could go either way and that certainly makes the Royals the value at [2.5]."

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals
Sunday April 15 11.30
TV: live on Sky Sports

Bangalore still look a little unbalanced

Bangalore are now one from two after beating the Kings XI on Friday afternoon.

They chased 155 with three balls to spare and for a change it was very much a collective effort rather than the individual brilliance of one or two of their star names. A good example of that was the fact that all of the five players who bowled each took at least one wicket.

But having said that, there were two performances that stood out from the rest. Man-of-the-match Umesh Yadav took three wickets in one over on his way to figures of 3-23 off four overs while AB de Villiers' composed 57 off 40 balls was a masterclass in pacing a run chase.

There has always been a concern that Bangalore tend to put all their eggs in one basket by loading their top order with star overseas players at the expense of covering other bases. If they seek to address that, it may mean Brendon McCullum (who got a first ball duck) gives way to one of two fellow Kiwis- all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme or seamer Tim Southee. Moeen Ali is unlikely to get a game for the time being.

Archer could make his debut

Rajasthan also have a win on the board after a strange match where they scored 153/5 after 17.5 overs before the rain came. They then managed to defend 71 off 6 overs after Duckworth-Lewis came into play with Delhi being guilty of a slow start they never recovered from.

Like Bangalore, their bowling looks a little suspect. Of the seven bowlers used so far, four of them have gone for more than 9 an over, including a certain Ben Stokes.

Their batting looks strong, though. In addition to Stokes, there's Jos Buttler, Ajiknya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi and Samju Samson. D'Arcy Short, who was on my 5 players to watch list needs to sort out his running between the wickets, tough. He's been run out in both of his matches so far.

Stokes aside, any one of those players mentioned above can open the innings alongside skipper Rahane instead of Short, which would mean they could bring in the impressive Jofra Archer to boost their bowling attack.

Royals over-priced in battle of the batsmen

Bangalore are always too short. There's always this view that one or more of their much-vaunted Top Four will play a big innings and to be fair to them, that's what happened on Friday with Quinton de Kock's 45 and AB de Villiers' 57 getting them over the line.

Yes, Bangalore's effort with the ball was better than usual in restricting the Kings to 155 but Rajasthan's big-hitters may be less guilty of the mistakes that the Kings' batsmen made where as soon as one of them looked like they'd got in, they got out straight away.

It's also worth pointing out that this win was Bangalore's first in six home games. To me this looks like a shoot-out between two strong batting line-ups that could go either way and that certainly makes the Royals the value at [2.5].

England bowler can be Bangalore top bowler

Umesh Yadav is all the rage after those three wickets in an over and is the 11/4 joint-favourite to be Bangalore top bowler. But anyone who has followed his career closely knows that it tends to be a little bit feast or famine with him and he doesn't often follow up a big performance like that with another one.

India's star spinner in limited overs cricket Yuzvendra Chahal is also 11/4 but the pick is Chris Woakes at 3/1. Like Yadav he has five wickets from two games but he's far more consistent and has the advantage of bowling at the death, when it's easier to pick up cheap wickets.

Samson looking strong

Sanju Samson has been the main man with the bat for the Royals with knocks of 37 and 49. He's been doing it for quite a few years in the IPL now and can consider himself pretty unlucky that India have so many wonderful top-order players in limited-overs cricket or else he'd have got a lot more caps than his solitary one back in 2015.

Stokes (9/2) was promoted to number three last time out but it's likely that Samson will either open or come in at three. He's 7/2 and ticks all the boxes you'd want in a T20 top runscorer bet.

Rahane is 3/1 and will have his chance but Buttler has been coming in too low to justify getting involved at 5/1.

IPL P and L

Staked: 2 pts
Returned: 4 pts
P and L: +2 pts

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