Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has predicted "a battle of Royals" in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, Qualifier 2. The winners of Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Friday (May 27) will face Gujarat Titans in the final (Sunday) at the same venue.
Sanju Samson's Rajasthan Royals finished the league engagements with nine wins from 14 outings, and were second in the standings. In Qualifier 1, they failed to defend 188/6 against Gujarat Titans.
The Faf du Plessis-led Royal Challengers Bangalore qualified for the playoffs thanks to Mumbai Indians' win over Delhi Capitals in the penultimate league match, thus sneaking into the fourth spot. And they produced the goods in the Eliminator, courtesy Rajat Patidar's unbeaten century, with a 14-run win against Lucknow Super Giants.
Ravi Shastri, giving a lowdown on the match, told Star Sports: "It's been 14 years for RCB (as they've never owned that elusive silverware) and 13 years since Rajasthan won their last title in the inaugural season.
Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, but they have since failed to make an impression in the world's most popular T20 cricket league. The last time they made the playoffs was in 2018. Now, they have a second chance to make the finals despite losing to Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have always been there, assembling star-studded teams every season. But they have never won the IPL, only managing three final and two third-place finishes. Now, they are two wins away from ending the trophy drought.
"So between the two of them, it's been 27 years (laughs). They both want it badly and it will be a battle of Royals. Let's wait for that one. It's going to be a great contest as both the teams would want to win it badly."
Besides, the last time these two teams met, Riyan Parag (of RR) and Harshal Patel (of RCB) almost came to blows. It will be another intense clash.
Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore have faced each other 26 times. RCB lead RR 13-11 in the head-to-head record, with two matches ending as no results.
During the IPL 2022 league stage, RCB beat RR by four wickets in Mumbai. But RR won the reverse fixture by 29 runs in Pune.
The IPL 2022, Qualifier 2 between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be telecast live on Star Sports Network. Live streaming of the match will be available on Disney+ Hotstar.
Match starts at 7:30 PM IST.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c), Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, KC Cariappa, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy, Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen, Karun Nair, Dhruv Jurel, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Shubham Garhwal, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen, Daryl Mitchell, Corbin Bosch.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudesai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Karn Sharma, David Willey, Rajat Patidar, Siddharth Kaul.