RCB host Gujarat Titans in a must-win situation with playoffs qualification on the line
The equation is quite simple for RCB - a win will take them into the playoffs and book them on a flight to Chennai, while a loss could knock them out of IPL 2023. As for the Titans, they sit pretty at the top of the points table and are already slotted in for Qualifier 1 against CSK, and this game will only be match practice for them ahead of the knockouts.
RCB have endured a mixed record at home this season, with three wins and three losses to show from six matches, and against the defending champions, the hosts will certainly have their task cut out.
Add to that the possibility of the match being interrupted by heavy rains, there’s a lot riding on team combinations and the toss - although one thing going RCB’s way is that they’ll know exactly what they need to do in order to qualify, with Mumbai Indians’ game against Sunrisers Hyderabad being the preceding fixture of the day.
MI are also on 14 points but have an inferior net run rate of -0.128 when compared to RCB’s +0.180, and Rohit Sharma’s men will be keen to put on a dominating show to try and improve their NRR.
The stage is set then for an exciting contest, one that has a lot riding on it for RCB with the home fans set to turn the Chinnaswamy Stadium into a cauldron of noise come Sunday evening.
Chinnaswamy Stadium has produced a belter of a pitch this season, with the average score touching 190 and the surface staying true to its nature of being a batter’s paradise. With rain an imminent threat, toss will certainly play a crucial role and the pacers will come into play more than spinners.
Personal battles to watch out for:
Faf du Plessis vs Mohammad Shami
For the first time this season, Faf will turn up against Shami, and this battle is further spiced up as one between the Orange Cap holder vs the Purple Cap holder. Faf has been in stunning form with 702 runs at a strike rate of 153.94, and how he fares against Shami, who is the leading wicket-taker with 23 scalps could well shape up RCB’s batting innings. Shami will also be banked on to stop Virat Kohli, who will be coming into this game fresh off a hundred and will want to produce another magical knock in front of the home fans for one last time this season.
Glenn Maxwell vs Rashid Khan
The Aussie basher is someone who loves taking on the spinners, but Rashid Khan will be a whole different challenge. The GT spin star has an equal number of scalps as Shami, and with form on his side, will pose a good threat to Maxwell. In IPL 2023, Maxwell has swept, reverse swept, lofted and thrashed spinners around the park, and the battle of the two superstars will be one to savour.
Mohammad Siraj vs Shubman Gill
RCB’s pace spearhead Mohammad Siraj will be itching to bowl in pacer-friendly weather conditions, and his first target will be GT’s ace opener, Shubman Gill. The talented right-hander will also be buoyed by a hundred he scored in their last match against SRH, and Siraj will be banked on to keep his threat at bay.
Match: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Titans
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Date: 21st May, 2023
Time: 7:30 PM
Matches played: 2
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Faf Du Plessis (C), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Josh Hazlewood, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudessai, Karn Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Kedar Jadhav, Wayne Parnell, Himanshu Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav, Michael Bracewell, Vyshak Vijaykumar
Hardik Pandya (C), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Matthew Wade, Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, R Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Odean Smith, KS Bharat, Shivam Mavi, Urvil Patel, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma, Dasun Shanaka.