Till last week, there were no clouds about SRH's qualification chances for the playoffs as they had won 5 consecutive games and were looking a lethal all round unit. Things have gone only south for the Orange army since that game against GT where they couldn't defend 21 in the last over and lost back to back games against CSK and DC. To make matters worse their squad has been marred by injuries. Sundar has again suffered a split webbing on his hand, T Natarajan who is SRH's highest wkt taker this season with 17 wkts did not feature in the last game. Marco Jansen & Suchith also had to miss the last game. Perhaps, its now the right time to take a call on Williamson's place in the squad. He has played 10 games and is striking below 100. According to cricviz analyst, his impact is - 85. Or, he could still play as a finisher and let Tripathi open. Him playing dot balls has cost SRH big time in last few games. Each and every games is important from here to qualify for the playoffs. GT & LSG have their one foot in playoffs, while RR is knocking on the doors with 14 points. Basically, the fight is between SRH, RCB, DD for the 4th spot.
After losing 3 consecutive games against SRH, RR and GT, RCB's campaign was finally back on the track with a 13 run win over the defending champions CSK. Mahipal Lomror was the star in the batting department with his 42 and DK did what he has been doing all this season by finishing the innings to take RCB to a competitive score of 173. Batting, esp the powerplay still remains a huge concern for RCB. Faf du plessis 139 runs at 100 sr, Virat Kohli 81 runs at 109 sr, Anuj Rawat 77 runs at 92 sr doesn't paint a good picture. Maxwell's SR has been brilliant but he has been on & off and hasn't post a big score apart from a 50 against DC. For the 1st time in many seasons, RCB's bowling unit looks well settled and with Siraj coming back to form it could become more potent.
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
Kane Williamson (c), Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Nicholas Pooran, Aiden Markram, Shashank Singh, Abdul Samad/Jagdish Suchith, Marco Jansen/Sean Abott, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, T Natarajan/Kartik Tyagi
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
-Average 1st innings total: 167.9
-Average 1st innings total in 2022: 171.6
-Average 1st Innings winning score: 180.9
-Highest total: 235/1, made by Royal Challengers Bangalore against Mumbai Indians.
-Lowest Score:–67/10, made by Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians
-Teams batting 1st: Have won 46 out of 95 times
-Teams batting 2nd: Have won 49 out of 95 times
Record at Wankhede
RCB: Played - 13, Won -6, Lost -7
SRH: Played - 8, Won - 1, Lost 7
Head to Head
Overall: SRH lead by 12-8
Batting 1st: SRH lead by 6-4
Batting 2nd: SRH lead by 6-4
Last 5 games: SRH lead by 4-1
Kohli v Bhuvi: 75/3 at 121 SR
DK v Bhuvi: 74/1 at 129 SR
Faf v Bhuvi: 58/1 at 120 SR
Maxwell v Bhuvi: 26/2 at 96 SR
Maxwell v Suchith: 9/2 at 180 SR
DK v Natarajan: 34/0 at 170 SR
Tripathi v Siraj: 41/2 at 110 SR
Kohli v Gopal: 68/3 at 174 SR
Pooran v Harshal: 46/1 at 135 SR
(Last 5 innings)
Key Players & Fanatsy Picks
Aiden Markram: In the past one year, Markram has scored 570 runs for SA at a SR of 148. He had a very good outing in t20 wc and was featured in ICC's team of the tournament. Markram is also a useful part time off spinner and does the job well in Powerplay. He was the top scorer for SRH in the 1st game and scored a 50, registered his 2nd one in the game against KKR. and remained not out on 41 against PBKS and again scored a 50 v GT & SRH. He is the only middle order batter to have 5 scores of 40+
Abhishek Sharma: Had a poor start to the season and their were questions regarding his price tag and why SRH wanted him at all cost. Abhishek is now the 6th highest run scorer of the tournament with 331 runs at a SR of 134. He has been consistently providing good starts to SRH in PP.
Wanindu Hasaranga / Josh Hazlewood: 16 wkts at an eco of 8. Hasaranga has got a big wkt in almost every game and almost sealed the games against MI, RR, DC & CSK in RCB's favour with his bowling. RCB missed a strike bolwer in the initial games due to Josh's absence and Siraj's form. But since Josh has joined the side he has taken 11 wkts in 7 games.
Nicholas Pooran: SRH's lack of batting depth has hurt their chances in last 2 games while chasing and they left it too much for Pooran to do all bt himself. He has scored 64* and 62 in his last 2 innings.
Budget picks (Fanatsy Rating - 8/8.5 points)
Shahbaz Ahmed: He has been RCB's saviour with the bat. 198 runs at an avg of 39 and SR of 125 speaks volumes about his contributions lower down the order. RCB were 62/4 in 3 games, 42/3, 75/4 when he has walked out to bat. Also picked up 2 crucial wkts of Hardik & Gill in the match against GT.
The likes of Kohli & Williamson are going through their worst ever season and time is ticking for them. The stage is set for big players like them when their team needs a win in almost every game.
Prediction: Winners - RCB