IPL 2024 Play-offs: RCB favourites vs RR, feels Rayudu

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 20, 2024 IST

Sanju Samson with Faf du Plessis

New Delhi, May 20: Rajasthan Royals (RR) led the Points Table in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 for nearly five weeks. They were the first team to enter the play-offs. But then they lost four consecutive matches and their last game against table toppers Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday was rained off.

RR finished third after KKR and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the race for play-offs. They play star-studded and rejuvenated Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the first Eliminator on Wednesday.

With their key player Jos Buttler having left for national duty, Rajasthan franchise seem to be a different side. Many cricket followers fear RCB may have an easy outing against them on Wednesday.

Former India batter Ambati Rayudu believes that RCB will be firm favourites in the against RR at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad.  

Faf du Plessis-led RCB are on a six-match winning streak that guided them to a playoff spot in the league. RCB pushed defending champions Chennai Super Kings out of the playoff race after a 27-run win at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.

Sharing his thoughts on the Eliminator clash, Rayudu backed Bengaluru over Rajasthan as the latter are coming after a washout against Kolkata Knight Riders that dropped them to third place in the points table.

"I think RCB are clear favourites for me, because of the way they are playing and they've had a clinical game against CSK and for RR I don't know if this gap in play will help, this washout would help them in going into an eliminator against RCB who I feel right now are a matured side and every player over there knows his role. So I think RCB are the ones who will eventually go into qualifiers 2," Rayudu said on Star Sports Cricket Live.

Meanwhile, former India pacer Varun Aaron also echoed Rayudu's sentiments and backed RCB in the clash. He added that Virat Kohli deserves the IPL title after putting his 'heart and soul' to the side.

"He's got a trophy to get. That's what's left for him. One thing that he's not got in all these years is the IPL trophy. He's given his heart and soul to this franchise. The fans love him, and the fans from other teams also love him.

"But the IPL has been that elusive one for Virat Kohli which he has to get this year. He will want to get that this year, especially after you win six games on the trot and go into a playoff like this."

"All it does to you is heighten your self-belief, not just his, but the whole team. So they are going to go in with a lot of belief, very contrasting to the Rajasthan Royals who are going in with a lot of doubts. So it's going to be a very interesting encounter and I completely back RCB on this one just because of the momentum they are taking into this encounter," he added.

Further, Rayudu feels that Qualifier 1 between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be an 'epic' encounter in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

"I think it's the openers in the powerplay that comes to my mind for both teams. The match can be decided in the powerplay. Whoever plays that initial part well will have an advantage and also going into the playoffs, it's like a different tournament. It's not the same, because the league phase is different.

"But from now on teams will treat each match as a final, and KKR will be no different. For SRH, Pat Cummins knows Ahmedabad well, he's had great memories over there. So it will be an epic encounter," the veteran cricketer said.

Cricket is a game of uncertainty, so predictions may not always come true. But considering both team's recent performances, RCB seem to be better equipped, better balanced and more focussed than RR. However, Rajasthan Royals have the ability to shock their opponents as well. (With IANS support)

    Tags
  • Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • Rajasthan Royals (RR)
  • Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
  • Ambati Thirupathi Rayudu
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
  • IPL 2024
  • Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)

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