There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and a big loss that screws RCB's NRR for the rest of the season. Every year for the past five seasons, they have had such a loss, which has cost them a playoff spot or chance to finish in the top 2.
With so many bowling options at his disposal, Faf du Plessis was unable to maximize the resources he had, resulting in RCB's defeat in the last match more because of their bizarre tactics than their collective failure as a batting unit. As the match was on the verge of collapse, they chose to bowl Bracwell in the 15th over and Akash deep in the 13th over to Thakur and Rinku. Shahbaz bowled only one over in the match.
A hindsight is a wonderful thing, but Shahbaz is one of the top finger spinners in the tournament and has done incredibly well for RCB in crunch situations over the past two seasons.
The blunders just did not stop here, Harshal Patel was promoted to counter spin instead of David Willey, who is probably the third best overseas batter in the side after Faf and Maxwell. In the T20 Blast, he has won several games for his domestic team as well as many games for England.
Anuj Rawat was also used as an impact player when Lomror and Suyash were in the team, which was a strange tactic. To counter Krunal, Bishnoi, and Mishra in this game, RCB need to bring in Lomror, and promote David Willey, who was reading the ball better than anyone else. Glenn Maxwell has been dismissed five times and three times respectively against Mishra and Krunal
One positive taking from RCB in the 1st 2 games is their approach in Powerplay.
One of the major issues that proved to be RCB’s Achilles heel last year was their Run rate in Powerlay, they had the 2nd worst run rate and they weren’t in the top 5 in sixes hit. The resounding victory against Mumbai in the opening match and the 1st 4 overs against KKR promises a lot of potential for this year. There was a hint of Vintage Virat in the Red, which has been missing for 3 seasons now. RCB were found wanting against LSG in both the games last year but Faf’s counter attack on Bishnoi proved to be the biggest difference in the league stage. He took almost 30 runs off Bishnoi.
RCB and death overs have been perennial problems. They have signed Wayne Parnell to replace Topley, and it is unknown whether Hazlewood will have a similar rhythm and match fitness when he plays his 1st match. Following his IPL golden run in 2021 and 2022, Hrashal has been listless. For India he has conceded 40 or more runs in his last 8-10 appearances and has atrocious gigures of 7 - 0 - 82 -1 from the 1st 2 games.
Probable Playing XIs
Lucknow Super Giants
KL Rahul, Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni/ Amit Mishra, Ravi Bishnoi, Mark Wood, Avesh Khan, Yash Thakur
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik ( wk ), Michael Bracewell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Karn Sharma, Harshal Patel, David Willey, Mohammad Siraj, Akash deep
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
-Average Total batting 1st: 169.2
-Average 1st innings winning total: 188.4
-Highest total: 263/5 - RCB vs PWI, 2013
-Lowest total: 82/10 - RCB v KKR, 2008
-Total Match Played: 82
-Batting First Won: 33
-Batting Second Won: 45
Head to Head
Overall: RCB leads by 2-0
Batting 1st: RCB leads by 2-0
Rajat Patidar - 112
KL Rahul - 109
Josh Hazlewood - 7
Harshal Patel - 3
Match Ups (IPL)
Maxwell v Mishra: 66 off 35, 5 dismissals
Maxwell v Krunal: 42 off 35, 3 dismissals
Kohli v Mishra: 158 off 100, 2 dismissals
DK v Krunal: 24 off 28, 2 dismissals
DK v Unadkat:104 off 58
Faf v Bishnoi: 66 off 45
Kohli v Avesh: 5 off 10, 2 dismissals
KL v Siraj: 91 off 47
Form Update (last 5 IPL innings)
Key Players and Fantasy Picks
Faf du Plessis / Virat Kohli / KL Rahul
A top order batter should be your 1st priority in Fantasy 11. Faf has been in some surreal form off late with 177 runs at an SR of 143 in BBL and became the 1st centurion in SA 20. He scored 369 runs at an average of 41 (2nd highest). He was the MoM in the opening game for his 73.
Out of all the venues, Kohli enjoys batting the most at Chinnaswamy with 3 100s and a SR of almost 140.
KL Rahul has managed to pile up 500+ runs 5 times in a row now since 2018. No one has scored more runs, or more 50s than him since. Though he has started this season on a disappointing note he had few runs under his belt in the last game on a tricky surface. Moreover, RCB are his favourite opponent. He has 3 50s and 1 100 in last 7 innings with an average of 118 and SR of almost 150.
In 2021 and 2022, Maxwell scored 814 runs for RCB at a SR of 152. No one scored more runs than him at a better rate and he did it by batting at 4 or below. He is also an effective off spinner who bowled a few economical overs in Powerplay. With Rajat not in the scene and DK not among runs in the recent past, the onus of carrying the middle order solely lies on him.
He was one of the 3 signings of LSG before auctions. 2/31, 3/28, and 1/16 are his figures so far in the season.
He is the only batter to score 2 50s in his 1st 2 innings in the IPL. He is an incredible asset to have in any 11. Someone who opens the batting and bowling should be a blind pick.