3rd time Lucky ! This is RCB's 3rd consecutive playoff appearance, but they were unable to advance beyond the eliminator in the last two seasons. This time things are a lot different, they have managed to break the shackles and have advanced to the next stage by beating LSG in a high scoring encounter. So, what has clicked for RCB this season ? For year's RCB lacked a stable Indian batter & a good finisher at 6 and 7. This year DK and Shahbaz made sure they"ll bridge that gap and have put up 324 and 207 runs respectively. Rajat Patidar who was initially signed as a replacement for Luvinth Sisodia has been a revelation at no 3. Glenn Maxwell has been one of their crucial assets in PP and played the role of 6th bowler to utmost perfection. Though there are few weak links like Scoring rate in PP ( 2nd worst after SRH ) and death overs ( conceded most sixes in death overs ), overall it appears to be one of the best bowling attacks.
The outcome of the encounter highly depends on the Sanju vs Hasaranga battle. The Sri Lankan spinner has managed to dismiss the RR skipper 5 times in T20 cricket. Jos Buttler was largely criticised for his approach in the last game. RR could have ended up with a mere par score if not for the 3 dropped catches and some horrible fielding by the Titans. The duo of Ash & Chahal have been RR's biggest strength in middle and end overs. It was the 1st time both went wkt less and over 10 rpo this season. RCB would look to use the same strategy against the spin duo but Chahal has a very good record against Maxwell, Kohli & DK are not good players of spin. This is where Patidar and Lomror could come into the picture.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik(wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood, Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson(c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Ravi Ashwin, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna
Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Total Matches: 16
Batting 1st Won: 8
Batting 2nd Won: 8
Highest Total: 201/6 in 20 overs by Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils in 2014
Lowest Total: 102 all out by Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014
Average 1st Innings Score: 163
Average 2nd Innings Score: 151
RCB: Played 3, Won 2, Lost 1
RR: Played 11, Won 7, Lost 4
Head to Head
Overall: RCB leads by 13-11
Batting 1st: RR leads by 5-3
Batting 2nd: RCB leads by 10-6
Last 5 matches: RCB leads by 4-1
Maxwell v Chahal: 120/5 at 171 sr
Maxwell v Ashwin: 115/2 at 209 sr
Kohli vs Ashwin: 160/1 at 128 sr
Kohli vs Prasidh: 56/2 at 180 sr
Kohli vs Boult: 69/0 at 143 sr
DK vs Ashwin: 75/1 at 134 sr
DK vs Chahal: 38/3 at 88 sr
Faf vs Boult: 60/3 at 101 sr
Faf vs Ashwin: 44/1 at 115 sr
Samson v Hasaranga: 18/5
Samson vs Siraj: 21/2 at 105 sr
Shimron vs Harshal: 34/0 at 136 sr
Shimron vs Siraj: 34/1 at 154 sr
Riyan vs Harshal: 37/2 at 185 sr
(last 5 innings)
Key Players & Fantasy Picks
Captain / Vice Captain
Wanindu Hasaranga : 25 wkts at an eco of 7.7. Hasaranga has got a big wkt in every game and almost sealed the games against MI, RR, DC & CSK, SRH in RCB's favour with his bowling. He has been RCB's trump card and justified RCB;s decision of spending a significant chunk of budget in acquiring him.
Glenn Maxwell: RCB's MVP last season has got few starts this season and is striking at 168 with 277 runs from 12 innings. He has the best eco for a spinner in PP (6.2)
Jos Buttler: Since 2018, Butler strikes at 142 in the Powerplay at an average of 50 with 949 runs. Regarded as one of the most dangerous white ball batters in the world, he had a brilliant t20 wc where he scored a scintillating 100 against SL on a slow Sharjah Pitch and carried his form in the IPL where he scored another 100 in his 2nd game of the season, a 70 odd in the game vs RCB and a quickfire 50 in the powerplay against GT, and another 2 100s against KKR & DC. He is now the orange cap holder with 718 runs and has hit 39 sixes.
Yuzvendra Chahal: He is the purple cap holder with 26 wkts at an eco of 7.7 and holds the record of most wkts by a spinner in a season. The spin duo of Ashwin & Chahal have been RR's biggest strength in the middle overs. Chahal has taken 19 wkts in the middle overs . RR have been using him wisely by bowling his 2 overs after the 14th over. He has 7 wkts in death overs.
(Fantasy rating: 8.5)
Dinesh Karthik: He has been RCB's crisis man this year and bailed them out on numerous occasions. He has scored 324 runs at a SR of 187.
Sanju Samson has scored 421 runs at a SR of 149.8. He has hit the most sixes against spin in this season after Andre Russell. Since 2020, Samson has scored the most runs in middle overs ( 859 ) at a SR of 153. After getting dropped from the t20i squad vs SA, Samson must be itching to play a match defining innings and take RR to the finals and he displayed his hunger in the qualifier 1.
Prediction: Winners - RCB