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After a promising start to the season with an emphatic victory over Mumbai, RCB's old habits seemed to have resurfaced in no time. Their perennial issue of suffering a big loss that damages their Net Run Rate (NRR) has plagued them for the past five seasons, costing them a playoff spot or a chance to finish in the top two. Despite being in commanding positions, RCB lost both their games against KKR and Lucknow due to rudimentary mistakes. Allowing the opposition to hunt down a colossal total of 210 after reducing them to 37/3 and permitting them to amass 204 from a precarious position of 89/4 only highlights the incompetence of the RCB team.

However, RCB has some remedies to their eternal problems with the inclusion of Hasaranga and Hazlewood in their team. Hasaranga's impressive record of 26 wickets last season, with 20 of them coming in the middle overs, can be an asset for RCB, especially in the period where they allow the opposition to score freely. Additionally, his prowess in picking wickets in the death overs, with an economy rate of 7.3, can be crucial for RCB's success.

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.

However, there is a silver lining for RCB in the first 3 games, with their improved approach in the Powerplay. Last season, their run rate in the Powerplay was the second-worst, and they were not in the top five in terms of hitting sixes. But the resounding victory against Mumbai, the impressive first four overs against KKR, and Kohli's exquisite shots against Lucknow showed promise for this year. Kohli's Vintage avatar seems to have made a comeback after missing for three seasons.

Delhi's recent struggles have left them with much to contemplate. Despite Pant's absence, their issues seem to run much deeper. Warner, although putting up some fight, appears helpless, and his strike rate has been far from impressive. However, his declining powers seem to be more responsible for this than his attacking intent.

Shaw's performance in the powerplay had been exceptional, with only Buttler having scored more runs at a superior strike rate till the last season. The team's major issues can be resolved if he manages to hit his stride. Another significant decision that the team needs to make is whether to opt for Rossow or Powell. The latter has been struggling against leg spinners and elevating him in the batting order when there are many overs of spin left has resulted in nothing but disappointment. Meanwhile, Rilee Rossow has had a fantastic run of form in the past 14 months, having averaged 46 and SR of 180 runs in the PSL, being the second-highest run-scorer in Blast with 692 runs, 2 centuries, and a 97 for Proteas, and performing exceptionally well in another recent PSL tournament.

Probable Playing XIs

Delhi Capitals

David Warner, Prithvi Shaw (Impact), Mitchell Marsh, Manish Pandey, Rovman Powell, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Abhishek Porel, Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik ( wk ), Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, Karn Sharma, Harshal Patel, David Willey, Mohammad Siraj


M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

-Average Total batting 1st: 169.7
-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: 83
-Batting First Won: 33
-Batting Second Won: 46

Head to Head

Overall: RCB leads by 18-10

Batting 1st: RCB leads by 8-5
Batting 2nd: RCB leads by 10-5

Last 5 matches: RCB leads by 3-2

Most Runs:

Virat Kohli - 949

AB de Villiers - 690

Most wkts:

Yuzvendra Chahal - 15

Kagiso Rabadal - 13

Match Ups (IPL)

Warner vs Harshal: 86 off 45
Faf vs Axar: 79 off 63, 2 outs
Kohli v Axar: 66 off 58, 1 out
DK v Axar: 66 off 44, 2 out
Maxwell v Kuldeep: 59 off 21, 3 outs
Shaw v Siraj: 41 off 23, 3 outs

Key Players and Fantasy Picks

Faf du Plessis / Virat Kohli / David Warner

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 in the last game. Though he struggled to get going initially, he ended up with a much better SR.

Out of all the venues, Kohli enjoys batting the most at Chinnaswamy with 3 100s and a SR of almost 140. He has scored 949 runs against Delhi.

In total, Warner has scored 400+ runs seven consecutive years, and last year he managed 450+ runs at an SR of 150+. But since his comeback from injury in February, he has played just one ODI, and that was obvious from game 1, when he scored a 50, a problem that continued throughout the series. Despite wearing the orange cap, Warner said he would trade it for a win. He has 209 runs and 3 50s from 4 games at a poor SR.

Glenn Maxwell

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.

Mitchell Marsh

Mitchell Marsh's performances in recent matches have been exceptional. During the ODI series against India, he scored almost 200 runs at a strike rate of 110+, showcasing his impressive power and timing. He also played a key role in Australia's victory in the 2021 WT20 and continued his good form in BBL 2022-23, scoring 347 runs at a strike rate of 142.

Axar Patel

This year, Axar Patel has been a revelation with his batting skills, delivering impressive performances across all formats of the game. Whenever he has come out to bat, he has been a savior for his team, rescuing them from difficult situations. He played two exceptional innings, helping Delhi to reach a respectable total against MI. Besides, he is a remarkable bowler, with the best economy rate for a left-arm spinner in the history of the tournament.

Fantasy XI

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