We are into the final stages of the tournament and the race for the playoffs is getting more & more trickier day by day. Apart from GT who are almost qualified, there are 7 teams who are fighting for the remaining 3 spots. Things have become interesting after RCB's win 2 days before & DC's victory over SRH day before yesterday. 3 teams have been tied at 10 points from 5 games. SRH at one point looked like they will comfortably get into playoffs but 3 back to back losses have dented their chances big time. RR and RCB have a slight edge, while MI's chances are in decimals.
Powerpacked performances from Jos Buttler followed by magical spells of spin duo of Ravi Ashwin & Yuzvendra Chahal is the story of every RR game in this season. Buttler has 3 100s and is the top scorer with 588 runs at a SR of 150. Powerplay has been RR's biggest strength so far. Jos Buttler alone has hit 16 of the 22 sixes in the 1st six overs. Since 2018, he has the 2nd best SR in this period. Shimron Hetmyrer has scored the most runs and sixes in death overs from 2021. In 2022, he has scored 185 runs at a SR of 216. The skipper is striking at 153 with 21 sixes and has come good in the last few innings. One major weakness of this RR side is lack of batting depth and inclusion of Daryl Mitchell and Neesham has not helped at all.
Punjab's journey in this season has been blow hot blow cold with too many twists & turns. They emerged victorious in a nail biter against CSK. They had now defeated the defending champions twice in this season & Arshdeep Singh was the star as he displayed a yet another death bowling masterclass. It appeared that PBKS's campaign is back on the track and they had made good changes going into the game by fielding Rajapaksa & Rishi Dhawan. But they faltered again as PBKS could not chase a modest total of 153 against LSG. By defeating table toppers GT, they now have 10 points from 5 games. Middle order has been a huge problem for Punjab inspite of Livingstone & Jitesh Sharma playing few blinders. Against SRH they collapsed from 151-5 to 151 all out in a blink of an eye whereas against Delhi, they put up their 4th lowest score in the IPL. Liam has 3 50s and Jitesh has scored 124 runs at a SR of 155. PBKS have lost 34 wkts in the middle overs which is 2nd most for any team and their RR is 7.9. On the contrary, their scoring rate is 8.77 in the PP which is the 2nd best for any team.
Mayank Agarwal(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jonny Bairstow(wk), Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Rishi Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh
Devdutt Padikkal/Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson(c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Daryl Mitchell/Rassie Van der Dussen, Ravi Ashwin, Trent Boult, Kuldeep Sen, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
-Average 1st innings total: 167.7
-Average 1st innings total in 2022: 170.3
-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 94 times
-Teams batting 2nd: Have won 48 out of 94 times
Teams batting 1st have won the last 6 out of the 9 matches at Wankhede
Record at Wankhede
PBKS: Played - 16, Won -7, Lost -9
RR: Played - 17, Won - 8, Lost 9
Head to Head
Overall: RR leads by 13-10
Batting 1st: Both teams have 7 wins each
Batting 2nd: RR leads by 6-3
Last 5 games: RR leads by 3-2
Buttler v Sandeep: 82/1 at 234 sr
Buttler v Chahar: 43/2 at 165 sr
Buttler v Rabada: 47/0 at 180 sr
Dhawan v Chahal: 73/3 at 114 sr
Dhawan v Ashwin: 71/2 at 84 sr
Dhawan v Boult: 62/1 at 119 sr
Dhawan v Krishna: 60/1 at 150 sr
Mayank v Prasidh: 44/1 at 176 sr
Mayank v Chahal: 68/4 at 183 sr
Samson v Chahar: 42/1 at 161 sr
Samson v Sandeep: 54/1 at 94 sr
Bairstow v Chahal: 48/2 at 129 sr
Form Update (last 5 innings)
Key Players & Fanatsy Picks
Liam Livingstone: He had a tough outing last year with an average of just over 8 in 5 games. Liam was the highest scorer in The Hundred with 348 runs. He scored England's fastest ever international century when he reached the milestone from just 42 balls against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. With 60(32) and 2 wkts against CSK, a quickfire 60 against GT and another solo show in the last game against SRH proves he has really arrived and its just a glimpse of what we are going to witness. He has 3 50s as a middle order batter in this season & has hit 23 sixes so far.
Jos Buttler: Since 2018, Butler strikes at 145 in the Powerplay at an average of 59 with 892 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 588 runs and has hit 36 sixes.
Yuzvendra Chahal/Kagiso Rabada: Purple cap holder with 19 wkts at an eco of 7.2. The spin duo of Ashwin & Chahal have been RR's biggest strength in the middle overs. Chahal has taken 14 wkts in the middle overs, behind Kuldeep who has scalped 17 wkts. RR have been using him wisely by bowling his 2 overs after the 14th over. He bowled brilliantly in the 18th over of few games.
Since 2019, Rabada has taken 87 wkts in 53 innings and took atleast 1 wkt in every game from May 2017 to Oct 2020. He has taken 2 back to back 4 wkt hauls.
(Fantasy rating - 8/8.5 points)
Bhanuka Rajapaksa: 174 runs at SR of 168 from 6 games.
Wild Card Pick
Bairstow & Mayank haven't fired at all in this season. If Bairstow opens like he did in the last game, today could well be his day.
Prediction: Winners - RR