IPL 2023, RCB vs RR: Rajasthan Royals need contributions from middle-order to tame Royal Challengers Bangalore

Table-topper and former champion Rajasthan Royals (RR) needs more from its fragile middle order as it looks to return to winning ways against an inconsistent but dangerous Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. RR is leading the standings with eight points after four wins and two losses, while RCB is in the fifth with three victories and as many defeats.

But RR has plenty to ponder going by their performance in the last game against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at home. Chasing a gettable 155, RR were off to a great start with openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (44) and Jos Buttler (40) stitching 87 runs in 11.3 overs before the middle-order crumbled to suffer a 10-run defeat.

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In Jaiswal and Buttler, RR has the most potent opening pair, and the duo has been delivering for the side this season. But, the performance of the middle order has become a worry for RR. Skipper Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer have scored runs but need to be more consistent, and the team banks on them to close out games.

To make matters worse, Devdutt Padikkal and Riyan Parag still need to live up to the expectations. In the experienced Trent Boult and Sandeep Sharma, RR has good opening bowlers, and they will have their task cut out against Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli. Ravichandran Ashwin has impressed with his guile and tricks in the spin department, but Yuzvendra Chahal has been a tad expensive and needs to lift his game.

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Like RR, RCB boasts of one of IPL’s most fearsome opening pairs in du Plessis and Kohli. The two are in form this season, handing RCB terrific starts. They have so far raised two-century stands (148-run partnership against Mumbai Indians, 137 against Punjab Kings), besides adding 44 and 42 runs against former two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Delhi Capitals (DC), respectively.

In the process, du Plessis and Kohli have smashed four half-centuries each. However, Kohli would like to strike at a better rate. Glenn Maxwell, too, has shown his hitting prowess in the tournament but needs to be more consistent. RCB would also look up to veteran Dinesh Karthik, Mahipal Lomlor, Shahbaz Ahmed and Suyash Prabhudessai in the middle order.

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RCB’s bowling attack is in the safe hands of Mohammed Siraj, who has been in sensational form, picking up 12 wickets from six games, including a four for 21 in its last match. Siraj is ably supported by Wayne Parnell and Harshal Patel, who have picked up eight wickets apiece from four and six games, respectively. But, both these bowlers have been a tad expensive, and they look to address this concern in the coming matches. RCB’s spin department is spearheaded by Sri Lankan Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva, who has looked impressive in his three outings.

Squads
RR:
Sanju Samson (c & wk), Abdul Basith, Murugan Ashwin, Ravichandran Ashwin, KM Asif, Trent Boult, Jos Buttler, KC Cariappa, Yuzvendra Chahal, Donovan Ferreira, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Obed McCoy, Devdutt Padikkal, Riyan Parag, Kunal Singh Rathore, Joe Root, Navdeep Saini, Sandeep Sharma, Kuldeep Sen, Akash Vasisht, Kuldip Yadav and Adam Zampa.
RCB: Faf du Plessis (c), Akash Deep, Finn Allen, Anuj Rawat, Avinash Singh, Manoj Bhandage, Michael Bracewell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Siddarth Kaul, Virat Kohli, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Wayne Parnell, Harshal Patel, Suyash Prabhudessai, Rajan Kumar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Karn Sharma, Himanshu Sharma, Sonu Yadav, Vijaykumar Vyshak and David Willey.

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Match details
Date and day:
April 23, 2023 (Sunday)
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Time: 3.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and other Star Sports regional language channels – Also available in HD
Where to watch (Online): JioCinema

Last Updated Apr 22, 2023, 6:00 PM IST





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