After completing a 5-0 ODI whitewash of Pakistan in the UAE, top Australian players started arriving in India in Monday to reinforce their respective IPL franchises.
Defending World Cup champions Australia are on an incredible run in 50 overs cricket, registering eight wins in a row against India and Pakistan in their backyard. And architects of those wins will be hoping to replicate that form in the IPL.
Left-arm fast bowler Jason Behrendorff and hard-hitting lower order batsman Ashton Turner were among the first Australian players to arrive in India from the UAE assignment. Behrendorff adds another left-arm pace option to Mumbai Indians while Turner will be hoping to provide the finishing flourish at Rajasthan Royals.
However, the most crucial arrivals will be of all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, who will be needed to arrest the alarming slide in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s season.
RCB were thrashed by 118 runs in the previous game against Sunrisers Hyderabad with both their bowling and batting exposed. The two Aussies offer some much needed quality pace options while Stoinis also beefs up the lower order batting. Both will arrive by Monday evening.
However, other top Australian players won’t be available this season. Star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and skipper Aaron Finch had already made themselves unavailable for the season, keeping the 2019 World Cup preparations in mind. Fast bowler Pat Cummins also won’t feature as Australia look to protect their most prized asset.
As fans, it’s not just watching the action that’s there to look forward to, but IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.
As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.
Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.
Without further adieu, here are our top options in each category for this encounter.
Virat Kohli – Royal Challengers Bangalore (11 credits)
The Bangalore and India skipper has so far failed to come to the party with just the solitary innings of note in the three losses. However, you cannot keep Kohli down for long with his immense class bound to show sooner rather than later.
The superstar will be reeling after his side’s dismal start to the season with his IPL captaincy leaving plenty to be desired. However, Kohli loves to lead by example and he will be itching to get his own and the team’s campaign back on track.
Expect Kohli to come out with a point to prove on Tuesday.
Jofra Archer – Rajasthan Royals (9 credits)
After a slow start to campaign, Rajasthan pacer Jofra Archer is starting to get into his groove. The fast bowler was in excellent form in the team’s narrow loss to Chennai Super Kings where he picked up figures of 2-17 from his four overs.
Archer’s T20 credentials have never been in question with the pacer carrying pinpoint yorkers and cleverly disguised slower bouncers in his armoury.
With the soon to be England international finding form in his last match, now is the right time to put him in your fantasy line-ups.
BEN STOKES – Rajasthan Royals (9.5 credits)
Like Archer, Ben Stokes too had a slow start to his IPL 2019 campaign but the England all-rounder is starting to come into his own if his most recent displays are anything to go by.
With the ball, Stokes has been slightly expensive but has regularly been among the wickets with four scalps already to his name. With the bat, the southpaw is starting to hit his stride as shown by his quick-fire cameos down the order against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai.
With Stokes starting to fire on all cylinders, he gets the nod over Marcus Stoinis who is poised to return for Bangalore.
Jos Buttler – Rajasthan Royals (10.5 credits)
Buttler hasn’t been in the best of form in his last two appearances for Rajasthan but the Englishman still remains the better pick compared to his Bangalore counterpart Parthiv Patel.
The explosive right-hander was looking in sensational touch against Kings XI Punjab before being ‘Mankaded’ by Ravi Ashwin and has since gone completely off the boil.
But, just like Kohli, expect the cream to rise to the top eventually and Buttler to get back into the swing of things. Being back at Rajasthan’s home ground might just be the invitation the right-hander needs to rediscover the extraordinary form he displayed in the 2018 edition.
CAPTAIN – Ben Stokes
VICE CAPTAIN – Jos Buttler
It has been a 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) to forget so far for both Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore but the two teams will have a chance to lift themselves off the bottom when they meet in Jaipur on Tuesday.
It’s far from being a ‘royal’ affair for the two teams having both tasted three defeats from as many matches in their respective campaigns so far.
MISFIRING BUTTLER, EXPENSIVE UNADKAT HIGHLIGHT RAJASTHAN WOES
Rajasthan started their campaign in electric fashion and were on course to blow away Kings XI Punjab before the wheels came off in spectacular fashion following the ‘Mankad’ dismissal of Jos Buttler.
Since then, Buttler has been dismissed cheaply in both matches and the Englishman’s loss of form has only compounded the problems for Rajasthan. Despite the presence of several overseas stars, it is Buttler on whom Rajasthan’s batting primarily depends and he will need to get firing on all cylinders again if the franchise is to reignite their flailing campaign.
At the other end, Jaydev Unadkat continues to be extremely expensive with the ball once again with the left-armed seamer going at over 12 runs an over so far in his three appearances. The most expensive Indian player to be purchased in two IPL auctions running now, Unadkat’s struggles to contain the flow of runs has hampered Rajasthan big time in their three losses.
Minute margins have cost Ajinkya Rahane and his men in each of the three losses and they could very well have been perched at the top of the table if small details had gone their way.
Worst Death (17-20 overs) -Economy ( last season and this season) - min 50 balls— Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) March 29, 2019
Once upon a time they were "death" bowlers
Mohit Sharma - 12.65
B KUMAR - 12.23
J Unadkat - 12.00
D Bravo-11.58#IPL #Stat
SAME OLD BANGALORE
While both teams are yet to open their accounts in the tournament, it is Bangalore who are arguably worse off with Virat Kohli’s men being comprehensively swept aside in two of their three losses.
It has been a campaign all too familiar for Royal Challengers fans with the star-studded line up once again coming up a cropper. Bowled out for just 70 runs in the loss to Chennai Super Kings, Bangalore were on course to register another total below 100 after they were reduced to 35-6 by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
While they did manage to avoid that ignominy, Kohli’s men are repeating the familiar script. The Bangalore skipper has looked good in flashes and so has AB de Villiers but the consistency required to win matches continues to elude the team.
West Indies dasher Shimron Hetmyer has failed to come to the party so far while Moeen Ali has punched way below expectations. Getting the big stars to work together as a unit has defined the lack of Bangalore’s success in IPL history and they will need to quickly devise the right formula before time runs out for them in the 2019 edition.
With the ODI series between Pakistan and Australia drawing to a close in the UAE, both teams are set to be bolstered for Tuesday’s clash.
For Rajasthan, big-hitting all-rounder Ashton Turner will provide some much needed boost in the batting department.
Meanwhile, Bangalore will be glad to welcome the duo of Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile. The former’s return will be welcome addition given his all-round abilities and he could replace Colin de Grandhomme in the playing XI.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kuklarni, Jaydev Unadkat.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Marcus Stoinis, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.