The IPL has at last started to gather momentum following its lackluster opening days. With five consecutive last-ball finishes, the tournament has regained its much-needed spice and excitement. Yesterday, PBKS with uncapped players in the top four managed to overcome a highly decorated Lucknow team. Additionally, Sikandar Raza, a Zimbabwean cricketer, earned the prestigious "Man of the Match" title, becoming the first player from his country to do so in the IPL.
Except for one glitch when Rinku Singh went on a rampage and smashed 40 runs in 7 consecutive deliveries, Gujarat Titans have been flawless this season, just like the previous one. Saha has been taking full advantage of the powerplay overs, Sudharshan has been in sublime form with consecutive half-centuries, and a typical Tewatia finish helped them secure another 2 points. Vijay Shankar hafter a horrific season has played 2 outstanding knocks. It seems like everything they touch turns to gold. In addition, they made a shrewd move by bringing back Mohit Sharma, their top performer with the ball in the last game, who was last seen in 2020.
Rajasthan has also secured 6 points in the tournament. Buttler and Jaiswal's partnership as openers has been remarkably reliable with RR surpassing 50+ runs in powerplay in every match. Trent Boult's opening spell proved to be the deciding factor against SRH and DC. Although Boult was absent in the previous match, Rajasthan's spin trio of Ashwin, Zampa, and Chahal successfully defended the target against CSK. With Boult's impressive record against Saha and Gill, his return will be crucial for Rajasthan in the upcoming game
Probable Playing XIs
Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, Sai Sudharshan, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, David Miller Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph
Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Paddikal, Sanju Samson(w/c), Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer, , Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal
Last year’s Standings
RR: Runners up
Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
-Average Total batting 1st: 162.9
-Average 1st innings winning total: 172.3
-Highest total: 207/7 by KKR v GT
-Lowest total: 102/10 by RR v SRH
-Total Match Played: 20
-Batting First Won: 8
-Batting Second Won: 12
Head to Head
Overall: GT leads by 3-0
Batting 1st: GT leads by 1-0
Most runs: Jos Buttler - 182
Hardik Pandya - 161
Most wkts: Hardik Pandya - 5
Yash Dayal - 5
Match Ups (IPL)
Sanju v Rashid: 81 off 83, 1 out
Jos v Shami: 79 off 54, 1 out
Sanju v Shami: 54 off 28, 1 out
Jos v Alzaari : 50 off 18,
Jos v Hardik: 47 off 26, 1 out
Hetmyer v Rashid: 43 off 32, 2 out
Jos v Rashid: 30 off 47, 3 out
Hetmyer v Shami: 24 off 17, 4 out
Padikkal v Rashid: 18 off 23, 2 out
Miller v Ashwin: 75 off 65, 2 out
Gill v Ashwin: 72 off 47
Hardik v Ashwin: 57 off 36
Miller v Chahal: 55 off 34, 3 out
Hardik v Chahal: 45 off 49, 2 out
Saha v Boult: 18 off 19, 2 out
Key Players and Fantasy Picks
A top order batsman should be your blind pick. Buttler who won the prestigious Orange Cap award last season, recorded an impressive strike rate of 149 and scored 863 runs, including four centuries. He has been in exceptional form since the 2021 World Cup, where he smashed a century against Sri Lanka, and continued to perform well against Australia prior to the 2022 World Cup. In the semi-finals, he dominated India. In IPL he has outscored all other players with a superior strike rate in powerplay overs since 2018. He started his season with a rapid 20-odd ball 50 and a 79 off just 51 balls in the subsequent games. He also contributed 52 runs in the last match against CSK. The outcome of the game will depend on the showdown between Rashid and Buttler.
If you're looking for an undisputed star player for your fantasy cricket team, look no further than Rashid Khan. Widely considered as one of the greatest T20 bowlers in history, Rashid has claimed over 500 wickets, making him a valuable asset to any team. He holds the remarkable record of taking 15 or more wickets in seven consecutive seasons, a feat unmatched by any other player. Not only is Rashid a phenomenal bowler, but he's also an exceptional batsman. Even in his recent match against KKR, where he didn't perform up to his usual high standards, he still managed to take a hat-trick and almost single-handedly swung the game in GT's favor.
Among batters who have scored a minimum of 800 runs since 2021, Samson is the only other player besides Tripathi to boast a strike rate of over 140. However, Samson tends to have a pattern of starting the season off strong, only to lose his momentum along the way. This trend has continued this year, with Samson following the same pattern as before
Since 2020, no other bowler has claimed more wickets (35) than Boult during the powerplay overs. Boult has a particular advantage over Gill and Saha in this phase, having dismissed them multiple times
Hetmyer has proven to be an outstanding "Finisher," exceeding expectations in this role. In fact, since 2021, no other player has scored more runs and hit more sixes than him during the death overs, all while maintaining an exceptional strike rate. Despite the high rate of failure that often comes with this position, Hetmyer has consistently contributed crucial scores in the range of 30s and 40s, further solidifying his value as a reliable player.
While his recent batting performances have been lackluster, averaging under 20 at a strike rate of 114 in his last 20 innings, his exceptional record against RR cannot be ignored. In the three games played against RR, he has amassed an impressive 161 runs and taken 5 wickets. Notably, he delivered a standout performance in the final match last year, earning him the "Man of the Match."