Toss: Rajasthan Royals chose to bat v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Graeme Swann and Ajit Agarkar try to answer that question, which Ajinkya Rahane must find the answer to ahead of a crucial game against RCB
Ajinkya Rahane, the Rajasthan Royals captain, has chosen to bat first in the must-win game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Given the hot and dry conditions, Rahane reckoned the pitch could wear out as the match progresses. Virat Kohli, the RCB captain, said he would have bowled first anyway.
With Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes leaving the team to join England’s Test squad, Royals made three changes. They brought in Heinrich Klaasen and Ben Laughlin to replace Buttler and Stokes, and also included the legspinner Shreyas Gopal for seamer Anureet Singh. This left their batting looking slightly light, with Stuart Binny, K Gowtham and Jofra Archer at Nos. 5, 6 and 7, but it also gave them seven bowling options.
RCB were unchanged.
This is the last match of the league phase for both teams, and neither has qualification for the playoffs in their own hands. If RCB beat Royals by a big margin and go above Mumbai Indians, they have to hope Mumbai lose to Delhi Daredevils or win by a margin that does not push their net run rate above RCB’s. They will also need Kolkata Knight Riders to lose to Sunrisers Hyderabad. If KKR beat Sunrisers, it would leave only one spot open. If RCB win, Royals are out.
If Royals beat RCB, then RCB are out, but Royals are not guaranteed a spot as they need Mumbai to lose to Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab to lose to Chennai Super Kings.
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 5 Stuart Binny, 6 K Gowtham, 7 Jofra Archer, 8 Shreyas Gopal, 9 Ish Sodhi, 10 Ben Laughlin, 11 Jaydev Unadkat.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Virat Kohli (capt), 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Colin de Grandhomme, 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Sarfaraz Khan, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.