Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals - Match Preview
🏏 2 April 2023 - 14:00 GMT +0
As one of four regular IPL venues to have missed out on the last three tournaments, the no longer familiar surroundings of the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium will be a much-welcome sight for Sunrisers Hyderabad players after two consecutive eighth-place finishes in 2021 and 2022. The markets again have them amongst the least likely of the ten teams to be in postseason contention, and it will once again be a new-look side led by a temporary captain seeking a fourth consecutive win in Hyderabad against inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals.
Aiden Markram will begin a new era of Sunrisers cricket when he has completed his national team duties next week, but for now, the experienced campaigner Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be in charge of the team as he approaches his 150th IPL match. “Bhuvi” will spearhead an attack that should also include sensation speedster Umran Malik, Afghan left-armer Fazalhaq Farooqi and powerplay spin bowlers Akeal Hosein and Washington Sundar.
Two exciting additions to the Hyderabad batting order are Mayank Agarwal and the exciting Englishman Harry Brook, who should bat at four here before moving down to five upon Markram’s return to the lineup. It was with the bat during the powerplay that the Sunrisers had major issues last year as the slowest scorers of the league, having never been able to adequately replace the iconic opening duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. But with the typically pedestrian Kane Williamson moving on to Gujarat and Agarwal replacing him, that scoring rate should improve in 2023.
After reaching the final last year and making some minimal but positive changes to their squad, 2022 runners-up Rajasthan are favoured by many to be in the final game of the season once again if not crowned as winners by the end of it. All 11 players to have featured in last year's final are available for selection once again, whilst they have added West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder as a strong fifth bowling option, Joe Root as a potential middle-order anchor, and there will be plenty of competition for the wicketkeeper-batter position with both Glenn Phillips and Heinrich Klaasen fighting for that spot.
Considering how few changes they may make to their best XI in 2023, it’s reasonable to expect Rajasthan to have also retained their strengths. They were by far the best powerplay bowling side of the season last year, taking more wickets (28) than any other team at the best bowling average (26.54) and economy rate (7.28rpo) of all ten franchises. That early innings dominance was led by Trent Boult (ten powerplay wickets at 6.95rpo) and Prasidh Krishna (ten wickets at 6.58rpo), the latter of whom is possibly going at times to have to fight with spin duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal for a bowling slot.
📋 Key battles: Hyderabad’s success is going to depend heavily on Mayank Agarwal kickstarting a love affair with the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium that has never existed. From six appearances as an away player, Agarwal has accumulated just 73 runs with a top score of 27. Against the pairing of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, Mayank Agarwal was dismissed nine times in T20s at an average of just 15.22 (3/65 against Ashwin and 6/72 against Chahal).
⚡ Stat attack: The average first innings score at this venue in the 2019 IPL was a healthy 172.
- Rajasthan struck the most sixes in ten of their games last season.
- Hyderabad has an incredible 20-3 win record at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium when losing the coin toss.
- Rajasthan has lost seven of the 12 games since the start of 2019 in which they started as favourites.
- All but three of the 16 H2H meetings were won by the team with more powerplay runs.
- Rajasthan recorded the most powerplay runs 11 times in 2022, compared with just five for Hyderabad.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar has career figures of 5/43 against Jos Buttler in T20 internationals, but interestingly has never taken his wicket in the IPL (0/36 from 37).
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians - Match Preview
🏏 2 April 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0
After three years in neutral territory, one of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) glamour rivalries will finally have a home crowd to add some colour and noise to the 31st meeting between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians. It was RCB who dominated that three-year period with four wins from five clashes across four different cities, and Mumbai will be hoping to return to the dominance that preceded it in which they won nine out of 11 matches, including four of five in Bengaluru!
The team that promises so much but delivers so little when it most counts made the playoffs for an eighth time last year, racked up more than 200 runs in a successful Eliminator against a strong Lucknow Super Giants side, before putting up a poor batting display against Rajasthan Royals to lose the second Qualifier comprehensively. Based on their W8, L13 record at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium since the start of 2017, the IPL’s return to a home-and-away format is likely to benefit other franchises much more than RCB.
RCB also have some questions and queries surrounding some of the key personnel that were retained and purchased in pursuit of that elusive first title. Josh Hazlewood, the former world number one T20I bowler (now four), was recently ruled out for potentially the first several matches of the tournament. Wanindu Hasaranga will miss this match as he finishes Sri Lanka’s tour of New Zealand, whilst fellow key all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has bowled just two overs and faced 11 deliveries in professional cricket since breaking a leg and likely won’t be fit in time for this match. Virat Kohli is coming into this edition after his worst batting average (28.93) in an IPL season in more than a decade, but five international centuries in a six-month period since then has him back to his vintage best.
What about Rohit Sharma? The Indian legend carries on as a multi-format star on the international stage, but he too was sadly reduced to a laughing stock in last year’s IPL, scoring just 268 runs at an average of just 19.14 - the first of his 15 IPL seasons that he did not register a single half-century. That followed just one fifty in 2021. At his age, naturally, such performances are going to prompt speculation about his longevity in this competition. Starting off the season in Bengaluru, where he has just one half-century from 11 IPL innings and an average in the low-20s, may not be of any use.
One writes off the Mumbai Indians at their own peril, though, and as five-time champions,v they have never completed three consecutive IPLs without an appearance in the final. But this current squad looks a shadow of its former self: Kieron Pollard has bowed out of the IPL, Jasprit Bumrah will miss the tournament with his ongoing injury woes, and who knows what could happen to Jofra Archer during a long and testing season after two years out of the game. Combine that with the pain of Suryakumar Yadav’s three consecutive ODI golden ducks, a lack of experience at the IPL level from Australians Cameron Green and Jason Behrendorff as well as South Africans Tristan Stubbs and Dewald Brevis, and the many boxes that Mumbai need to tick before having the credentials to challenge for a record-setting sixth crown.
📋 Key battle: RCB captain Faf du Plessis will turn 39 shortly after the conclusion of this IPL and for the first time will partake in an IPL game in Bengaluru as a home player, with a career average of 90 from three innings for Chennai. He has fallen twice from 11 deliveries bowled by Jofra Archer, who Mumbai bought knowing he would miss the entire 2021 season with an injury. Archer now has to repay the faith by improving even further upon the 20 wickets he took for Rajasthan (6.56rpo) in his last IPL season (2020).
⚡ Stat attack: Mumbai have won nine of their 12 IPL matches played in Bengaluru.
- The average first-innings IPL score in Bengaluru is 172, climbing even higher to 181 during the 2019 season.
- Bangalore have lost 15 of the 21 H2H matches played at either team’s home ground.
- Mumbai lost eight of the nine matches in which they started as favourites last season.
- Bangalore hit the most sixes of a match just twice in 2022 and the largest opening partnership on only three occasions.
- The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium had the largest average powerplay score (53) of all venues in 2019.
- Mohammed Siraj has never dismissed Rohit Sharma in the IPL (0/66 from 42 balls), but Harshal Patel has from three of 23 balls at an average of 9.00.
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