It promises to be yet another six-fest at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 32 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. Despite their loss to Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) RR have shown that they still remain firm title contenders, while with a win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their previous match, RCB will hope that they can add a few more victories and build some momentum after a scratchy start.
RCB have 13 out of their 27 IPL matches over RR, while the Sanju Samson-led side have won 12. RCB have also won three of their last five matches over the Royals.
The Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru has been a high-scoring venue. The batters have scored at 9.8 runs an over which is the highest across all venues in the IPL this season with as many as 15 50-plus scores scored here already.
The pacers have picked up nearly 71% of the wickets here this season, at an economy rate of 9.7, striking once every 28.9 runs, 17.9 deliveries apart. The spinners though have not had as much of an impact, with an average of 37.6 and strike-rate of 23.4.
The average first innings total here this season is 196. In the four matches so far, the team batting first and second have won two matches apiece. The captains have always elected to bowl after winning the toss here and may not be any different this time around.
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For Small League: Faf du Plessis (Captain), Jos Buttler (Vice-Captain)
For Grand League: Virat Kohli (Captain), Trent Boult (Vice-captain)
Stats that matter
As many as 90 sixes have already been hit at the Chinnaswamy Stadium - the most among all IPL 2023 venues.
The Orange Cap holder, Faf du Plessis has been in sublime form this season and especially at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, he has been near invincible. He has scored three fifties in four innings here, striking at 171. He may take a few deliveries to get his eye in, but once in, there's no one as dangerous as the former South Africa captain.
Jos Buttler is not going to have many off days. He got out of a duck against Gujarat and followed that up with an uncharacteristic 41-ball 40 against Lucknow. However, Chinnaswamy is tailor-made for six hitters like Buttler and the England captain, who has scored 244 runs this season at a strike-rate of 147, could make the RCB bowlers pay with his attacking strokeplay once again.
Glenn Maxwell is among four players in the IPL who has a strike-rate in excess of 195 among batters with at least 50 runs in IPL 2023. His strike-rate shoots up to 208.5 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium though. With plenty of left-handers in the RR line-up, including Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal and Shimron Hetmyer, Maxwell's off-spin could be more than a decent bowling option too. Against left-handers in the IPL since 2020, Maxwell has picked up nine wickets at an economy rate of 7.4.
Grand League Punts
If there's one in-form player in the tournament other than du Plessis, it has to be his opening partner Virat Kohli. The former RCB skipper has enjoyed top form this season, having scored 244 runs at a strike-rate of 142.34, but he strikes at over 150 at home, having already scored three fifties in four innings.
Trent Boult has picked up a wicket in the first over in IPL 2023 on five occasions so far. Purple Cap holder Mohammed Siraj and Hyderabad's Bhuvneshwar Kumar are a distant second with two wickets. Overall, the New Zealand pacer has picked up seven wickets in IPL 2023 so far, conceding at 7.50 runs an over.
Speaking of Siraj, the pacer has picked up at least one wicket in all matches of the tournament so far. He has 12 wickets to his name this season and at Chinnaswamy where we have seen bowlers smashed all around, he has held his own having picked up seven wickets at a staggering economy rate of six.
Criclytics Player Projection
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (c), Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Wanindu Hasaranga, Suyash Prabhudessai, Harshal Patel, Wayne Parnell, Mohammed Siraj
Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal