RCB strive to boost the playoff drive

IPL doesn’t give any particularly simple, lopsided matches, in contrast to a season of international football. It’s just the nature of the game and the strength of the 10 teams, at least on paper. However, RCB should have newfound optimism when they travel to Hyderabad since they will be facing a team that has had trouble staying together all season and whose season has already ended in a dismal and untimely manner.

The RCB’s decisive victory over Rajasthan Royals three nights ago, which allowed Faf du Plessis’s team to dent a rival contender for a top-four spot and significantly increase NRR, also contributed to the increased optimism.

As their final game is the last league game of the season, a victory on Thursday will move RCB to 14 points and give them the advantage of knowing exactly what they need to accomplish next to go to the playoffs. To cut a long tale short, they still have the initiative. 

RCB needs a strong start with the ball if everything is to go according to plan. They pick up the most wickets this season (30) in the first six, but they have the worst ER in the middle and the death overs. Given that SRH have had erratic starts and have the second-worst run rate in the batting PowerPlay and the lowest boundary count (85 – 74 fours, 11 sixes), they might effectively dictate terms during this time. Given how dismal their season has been overall, many of these figures for SRH are deceptive. Brian Lara, the team’s head coach, lamented the team’s repeated losses in situations in which they had an obvious advantage as well as the fact that they missed out on finishing considerably higher in the standings. Even if that ship has sailed and there is nothing left to play for, they could still sabotage RCB’s campaign and work to avoid the humiliation of receiving the wooden spoon.

When: May 18, 2023, 7:30 PM IST, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore

Where: Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium

What to anticipate Teams have found it difficult to bat at this location, as seen by their combined batting average (runs/dismissals), which is the second-lowest this year at 23.71. Four out of the six games played here have been won by teams batting first.

In their 21 head-to-head meetings, SRH has prevailed in 12 of the 21 contests, including the 2016 season final, which was played in Bangalore. In seven games in Hyderabad, RCB has only once won. However, SRH has had a terrible home record this season, winning only 1 of 6 games.

Team to keep an eye on:

Sunrisers Hyderabad

No injuries or absences have been reported.

Tactics and match-ups: Bhuvneshwar Kumar comes into the game with a five-wicket haul, including four wickets in the final over. However, SRH will need him to make an impact at the other end against the legendary troika of Virat Kohli (63 balls | 75 runs | 3 dismissals), Faf du Plessis (57 balls | 70 runs | 1 dismissal), and Glenn Maxwell (32 balls | 39 runs | 2 dismissals).

Anmolpreet Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen, Glenn Phillips/Harry Brook, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Mayank Markande, Fazalhaq Farooqi/Marco Jansen are among the probable XI.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 

No injuries or absences have been reported.

Tactics and matchups: Glenn Maxwell in the middle overs must be a threat for SRH. This season, he strikes at 160.77 and averages 41.57 against leg spinners, and he should be the batter to face Mayank Markande, who has 10 wickets in six innings in Hyderabad.

Virat Kohli (c), Faf du Plessis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Michael Bracewell, Anuj Rawat, Wayne Parnell, Karn Sharma, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj are the probable XI.

Have you heard?

  • – Heinrich Klaasen leads all players this season with a strike rate of 180.95 against spin.
  • In the PowerPlay, Mohammed Siraj has taken 9 wickets (tied for second-best with Trent Boult) and allowed just 6.31 runs per wicket.


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