Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals - Match Preview
🏏 23 April 2023 - 14:00 GMT +0
When the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium erupts at toss time on Sunday afternoon for match #32 of IPL 2023, the fans will be aware that Royal Challengers Bangalore are only two points behind Rajasthan Royals. It is a tribute to how closely stacked the top half of the table is, that Bangalore’s inconsistencies (W3, L3) are just a win away from getting level with Rajasthan’s steady performances (W4, L2).
It is an occasion to remember for the team and fans as well, as RCB don the ‘green jersey’ which continues what has been introduced as part of their “Go Green” initiative in 2011 to promote eco-friendly sustainability. Whilst the colour of their shirt has nothing to do with the way they play cricket, they’d certainly want to improve upon their existing ‘green jersey’ performances (W3, L8, NR1)!
Two of Bangalore’s wins have come from their last three matches including a morale-boosting 24-run win away from home against Punjab Kings. The wins don’t mask the fact that the Royal Challengers remain a top-heavy side with the trio of Faf du Plessis (343), Virat Kohli (279) and Glenn Maxwell (176) being their only batters to aggregate more than 45 runs! Little wonder then that the Bangalore openers have ended up being their best batters on five occasions already.
While the batting remains heavily invested in a few, the bowling isn’t far off from being one-dimensional. The irrepressible Mohammed Siraj (12 wickets, ER 6.70rpo) continues to improve with every passing day but it is the form of their death overs specialist Harshal Patel that is causing worries. His seven wickets have been few and far between, while his economy of 10.10 runs per over has been far and long over the fence.
In complete contrast to their hosts, the Royals arrive with a caravan that has seen five batters aggregate at least 113 runs, while four of those batters have scored at a rate of at least 8.57rpo. That has more often than not helped them strike big as Rajasthan have struck the most 6s in five of their last six matches going into this fixture. It was also the case in their last four H2Hs which means another six-fest could be the order of the day for the visitors.
These impressive numbers tell only half the story, with the Royals pegged back at least twice this season because their middle order couldn’t rise up to the occasion. Riyan Parag (54 runs, 6.75rpo) and Devdutt Padikkal (113 runs, 6.58rpo) are scoring at a pace that wouldn’t probably merit a mention in the County Championship that is busy adopting ‘Bazball’, let alone modern-day T20s!
⚡ Players to watch: Virat Kohli is in fine form in IPL 2023, scoring three 50s across his last four games, but has failed to get into double digits in his last three H2Hs. That belies his form before that drought as Kohli scored between 43-72 in three of the four matches. Former Bengaluru import Shimron Hetmyer would be keen to stay at the crease for a longer time as in the three H2Hs where he played more than 20 balls, he ended up scoring 53*, 29 and 42* while striking at least two sixes. He comes into this match in fine form, scoring 30s in four of his last five matches.
📋 Stat attack: The average first innings score at this venue in the 2019 IPL was 181, while two of the last three such scores this season have been at least 212.
- Mohammed Siraj has six wickets in the powerplays in this IPL conceding just 4.78rpo.
- His closest competitor in the Royals’ camp is Trent Boult who has five wickets in the powerplays in this IPL at 5.58rpo.
- Boult may come face to face with Faf du Plessis, with whom his H2H record in all T20s including internationals reads: 3/86 from 85 balls.
- Wanindu Hasaranga to Sanju Samson in all T20s including internationals: 6/25 from 34 balls.
- Sandeep Sharma has dismissed Virat Kohli seven times (7/78 from 59 balls) sharing an IPL record for the most dismissals of a single batter.
- Jos Buttler has scored 70* and 106* in two of his last three matches against Bangalore, hitting six sixes each time.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings - Match Preview
🏏 23 April 2023 - 18:00 GMT +0
Before we know it, we’ll have already reached the halfway point of the marathon which is the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL)! Time will be quickly running out for the Kolkata Knight Riders if they suffer a fourth consecutive loss and subsequently fall further down the table with a 2-5 record, especially as there has been only one instance in the 14-game era of a team reaching the playoffs with a win rate of less than 50%.
Thursday night’s four-wicket loss away to last-placed Delhi Capitals might have been enough for their more cynical fans to now consider the season a writeoff, particularly after they had already lost to Mumbai and Hyderabad, two sides who were in the bottom half of the table at the time. Assisted by a batting ‘paradise’ at Eden Gardens that has already produced three scores of 200+ runs in its two games already, Kolkata’s star-studded batting lineup is scoring at a handsome 9.26rpo this season, but their economy rate is just as high (9.24rpo).
Kolkata’s powerplay economy rate of 9.94rpo was one of the worst of the tournament heading into the weekend, with the normally miserly Sunil Narine (9.85rpo in the powerplay) and Andre Russell (11.50rpo) especially culpable. Chennai Super Kings’ numbers both with bat and ball in the first six overs add further promise to a chaotic start to each inning.
A move away from a terribly slow and inconsistent Chepauk pitch should grant Chennai’s batters some additional freedom and bring their quicks into the game more after their comfortable seven-wicket win at home to Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday was dominated by Ravindra Jadeja’s grippy and variable spin. Jadeja picked up three wickets between the tenth and 14th overs to turn Hyderabad’s comfortable position of 71/1 into an irreparable 95/5 on the way to his side joining Lucknow and Rajasthan on a 4-2 record.
Super Kings management stuck with Sri Lankan pair Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana at home despite the availability of Mitchell Santner, and with Theekshana’s figures of 1/27 being slightly more expensive than the collective economy rate of his team on the day, there could be the option of change to further bolster an already deep and flexible batting lineup. Chennai coach Stephen Fleming confirmed that Ben Stokes will be out for at least another week with a toe injury, further boosting Santner’s chances of playing in the short term.
⚡ Key battle: In his last outing, Varun Chakravarthy became the first Kolkata player to return his best bowling figures (wickets followed by economy rate) twice in 2023. H2H form suggests he’s a chance to do so again, having been held wicketless just once in his six games against Chennai (six wickets at 26.33, 6.58rpo). Three of those wickets alone were Chennai legend MS Dhoni, with career H2H figures of 3/11 from 16 balls bowled.
📋 Stat attack: The pre-match favourite has won nine of the last 11 H2Hs played in India.
- Chennai struck the most sixes in four of the last five H2Hs.
- All but one of the last 11 IPL games at Eden Gardens produced first innings scores of at least 175 runs.
- Kolkata is yet to record the highest opening partnership or the most powerplay runs in a single match this year.
- Umesh Yadav has never dismissed Ambati Rayudu in a T20, conceding 67 runs from 53 balls bowled.
- Ravindra Jadeja has taken Sunil Narine’s wicket three times from just ten balls bowled in all T20s, conceding 21 runs from the other seven deliveries.
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