The ongoing season has been a blend of both successes and failures for RCB as is evident from their record of three victories and three defeats, which accurately encapsulates their performance thus far.
RCB exhibited their vintage level by succumbing to defeats from seemingly impossible positions against KKR and Lucknow. RCB put forth their best effort to exceed their own level of stupidity against Delhi, but DC’s current condition is even more dismal. RCB took things to the next level by letting CSK pile on a colossal score, with Rahane and Dube leading the charge out of all batters.
On the flip side, RCB delivered a crushing blow to MI, put on a display of exceptional bowling at Chinnaswamy against Delhi,, and also exhibited remarkable fielding and impressive bowling during the death overs to contain Punjab. Events that occur once in a blue moon
RCB's think tank appears to be running a never-ending circus with their decision-making. They have made a series of questionable calls, including promoting Harshal, axing Willey, persisting with Anuj at number 8, and sending Parnell ahead of Hasaranga. What makes it more exasperating is that they have access to cutting-edge analytical tools with the services of Cricviz and Freddie Wilde, yet still make such mistakes. Such blunders were even unheard of during Vettori's tenure.
On the other hand, RR too have their own list of blunders. They promoted Padikkal and Parag in the last game when they had Jurel and Holder.
RR has heavily relied on Hetmyer, who has emerged as one of their most substantial assets. No one has scored more runs, boundaries than him in end overs since 2020 and he has the best SR if we put a cap of 300 runs. Except for the last game
Hetmyer has produced
22*(16) vs SRH
36(18) vs PBKS
39*(21) vs DC
30*(18) vs CSK
56*(26) vs GT
RCB have to be wary of 2 things.
Trent Boult in Powerplay. No one has taken more wkts than him in first 6 overs since 2020. They can’t afford to slow down in the middle overs against spin and the promotion of Suyash or Lomror has be to handled wisely unlike in this season where batting order has hardly made any sense.
It is imperative to exclude Wayne Parnell from the team and promptly introduce Hazlewood into the playing XI, as soon as he attains fitness. Addition of Hazlewood will only take things upwards from here.
Hazlewood has been one of the best white-ball bowlers post-2021, with 49 wickets from 32 games for Australia in T20Is at an economy rate of 7.2. His ability to pick wickets in the death overs, as he did for RCB last season (8), is an invaluable addition to the team.
Hasaranga's bowling was severely punished by Tim Seirfert in New Zealand just a fortnight ago and
Despite having an unimpressive performance in the few games he has played thus far Hasaranga's role in RCB's playoff chances cannot be overlooked. His outstanding record of securing 26 wickets in the last season, out of which 20 were in the middle overs, was a significant advantage for the team, particularly during the phase when the opposition is scoring effortlessly. Moreover, his ability to take wickets during the death overs, while maintaining an economy rate of 7.3 is a huge plus point . He boasts an impressive head-to-head record against the RR captain, having claimed his wicket six times in T20 cricket. Dismissing Sanju could prove to be a crucial breakthrough as RR's middle order is considered to be vulnerable.
Nevertheless, the most significant and noteworthy aspect in favor of RCB is their enhanced strategy during the Powerplay phase. In the previous season, their scoring rate during the Powerplay was second-lowest in the league, and they were not among the top five teams with regard to hitting sixes. However, the opening partnership of Virat and Faf has been exceptional, having amassed nearly 450 runs in six matches at an impressive run rate of 9.
Probable Playing XIs
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli(C), Faf du Plessis,, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Shahbaz Ahmed,Dinesh Karthik(wk), Suyash Prabhudesai, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood, Mohammed Siraj
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson, Shimron Hetmyer, Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sandeep Sharma
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
-Average Total batting 1st: 170.4
-Average 1st innings winning total: 189.1
-Highest total: 263/5 by RCB v PWI
-Lowest total: 82/10 by RCB v KKR
-Total Match Played: 85
-Batting First Won: 35
-Batting Second Won: 46
Head to Head
Overall: RCB leads by 13-12
Batting 1st: RR leads by 5-3
Batting 2nd: RCB leads by 10 - 7
Last 5 matches: RCB leads by 3-2
Virat Kohli - 600
AB de Villiers - 488
Yuzvendra Chahal - 20
Shreyas Gopal - 14
Last year’s Standings
RR: Runners Up
RCB: W L L W L W
RR: W L W W W L
Match Ups (IPL)
Kohli v Ashwin: 160 off 125, 1 out
Kohli v Boult: 60 off 46
Maxwell v Ashwin: 99 off 44, 1 out
Kohli v Sandeep: 78 off 59, 7 out
Faf v Boult: 76 off 71, 3 out
Maxwell v Yuzi: 34 off 29, 3 out
DK v Yuzi: 42 off 46, 3 out
Sanju v Hasaranga: 25 off 34, 6 out
Sanju v Siraj: 21 off 20, 2 out
Buttler v Siraj: 41 off 27, 1 out
Hetmyer v Harshal: 34 off 25
Hetmyer v Siraj; 34 off 22, 1 out
Form Update ( last 5 innings)
Key Players and Fantasy Picks
Faf du Plessis / Virat Kohli / Jos Buttler
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. He scored 79 off 46 deliveries against LSG and 62 off 32 against his former team CSK and another 84 off 56 balls against PBKS amidst injury. He has 344 runs at a SR of 163 with 23 sixes.
In contrast to the preceding few seasons, Virat Kohli has now ignited the IPL with his exceptional performance. His approach, intent, and boundary percentage have all improved to a remarkable extent compared to his previous three seasons. CSS is his happy hunting ground with 3 50s in 4 games so far this season.
was the orange cap winner last year with 863 runs at an SR of 149. He hit 4 100s. He has been in superb form since the 2021 WC where he hit a 100 against SL. Then repeated his performance against Aus before the 2022 wc and obliterated India in the semis. No one has scored more runs than him at a better SR in PP since 2018. He started his season with a quickfire 20 oddball 50 and has 244 runs at an impressive SR of 149.
Sanju started the season on a positive note, however, he experienced a slight decline in form thereafter. He played a crucial role in RR's victory over GT, particularly due to his onslaught against Rashid Khan, which shifted the momentum in favor of RR.
RCB has struggled to dominate spinners bowling in the middle overs, which has been their biggest weak point. And, the combination of Ashwin and Chahal has the potential to impede the run-scoring in the middle overs, similar to how DC and PBKS were able to do in the previous matches. And who better than Chahal knows how to bowl at CSS
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 and he did not disappoint against LSG scoring 59 from 29 balls and straightaway took on the spinners in middle overs against Delhi and against CSK put up another show with an innings of74. He has 19 sixes so far and a SR of 190+ this season