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RCB brace for Sunrisers’ fireworks at Chinnaswamy

1xC Team


Match details

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (10th; P6 W1 L5) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (5th; P5 W3 L2)
Bengaluru, 7.30pm IST (2pm GMT)

Big picture – Can RCB withstand SRH’s power at the Chinnaswamy?

After making the playoffs for two seasons in a row and then narrowly missing out last year, RCB are having a horror campaign, having slumped to five defeats in their first six games. Their bowling has been a major area of concern, with captain Faf du Plessis admitting they “don’t have as many weapons” with the ball. In RCB’s last game, they saw Mumbai Indians chase 199 inside 16 overs. And on Monday, they will be up against another batting juggernaut in Sunrisers Hyderabad.

With Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma at the top, Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen in the middle and the power of Abdul Samad and Pat Cummins, Sunrisers have a batting line-up that’s not just explosive, but also runs deep. Earlier in the season, they posted the highest total in IPL history (277), beating RCB’s 263, and are the second-quickest scoring team in IPL 2024. Sunrisers’ big-hitters will be licking their lips at the prospect of playing against RCB at the Chinnaswamy, where the boundaries are short and the ball flies a long way.

In contrast, RCB have the third-worst economy rate this season with the ball. With Mohammed Siraj having a below-par season, and a spin attack that has failed to be a threat to opposition batters, RCB know they have a huge challenge on their hands when they go up against Klaasen and co.

Du Plessis has already said that the onus is on their batters to do the heavy lifting, and the positives RCB can take is that their skipper and Rajat Patidar found some form in the last game, and Dinesh Karthik continued to be impactful as a finisher.

Virat Kohli, who is the leading run-scorer in the IPL, also has an excellent record against Sunrisers, scoring quicker against them than any other team in the competition.

Form guide

Royal Challengers Bengaluru: LLLLW (most recent matches first)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: WWLWL

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Royal Challengers Bengaluru
RCB have chopped and changed, using as many as 19 players this season – only Delhi Capitals have used more (20) – and they have been forced to tweak their combinations due to in-season injuries. RCB had an injury scare when Glenn Maxwell suffered a blow to his thumb and went for scans. But RCB’s director of cricket Mo Bobat said on Sunday Maxwell is “okay at the minute” and “there’s no injury concerns”. Just in case Maxwell is unfit, Cameron Green could return to the XI, having been replaced by Will Jacks in their last game. Saurav Chauhan or Anuj Rawat will likely come in as the Impact Player if RCB are chasing, or go out for a bowler if batting first.

Probable XII: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Will Jacks, 4 Glenn Maxwell/Cameron Green, 5 Rajat Patidar, 6 Mahipal Lomror, 7 Dinesh Karthik, 8 Anuj Rawat/Saurav Chouhan, 9 Akash Deep, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Reece Topley, 12 Vijaykumar Vyshak

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers are unlikely to make any changes to their team as they continue to build momentum around the halfway stage of the tournament. T Natarajan will likely come in as the Impact Player if they have to defend a target, and they can get Rahul Tripathi in as an extra batter if they are chasing.

Probable XII: 1 Travis Head, 2 Abhishek Sharma, 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Nitish Kumar Reddy, 5 Rahul Tripathi, 6 Heinrich Klaasen, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Shahbaz Ahmed, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Jaydev Unadkat, 12 T Natarajan

In the spotlight – Will Jacks and Travis Head

RCB made a big call to bench Green, who they bought in a cash trade for INR 17.5 crore, in the last game and brought on the highly-rated Will Jacks. Jacks showed glimpses of what he can do before chipping a catch for 8, but there are high expectations from him. With a T20 strike rate of 158.60, Jacks can help take the pressure off an under-fire RCB batting line-up.

Travis Head is up against the team he made his IPL debut for, and he will be looking for a big score. After a 62 against Mumbai, Head has not really made a significant score and will be looking to make another big impact. He will also be fed plenty of pace, which suits him just fine. The Chinnaswamy may just be the best venue for him to go big again.

  • Sunrisers have won just two of their eight matches at the Chinnaswamy Stadium and have the worst win percentage among all IPL teams at the venue.
  • The battle of the finishers: Dinesh Karthik (243.90) and Heinrich Klaasen (263.15) are among the quickest scorers in the death overs this season.
  • RCB’s bowling average in the powerplay this year is 91.75 – by far the worst for any team in any season. Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 had the previous worst powerplay bowling average in a season (68.38)
  • Pitch and conditions

    The Chinnaswamy pitch has not been as batter-friendly as in the previous years. It’s been slightly two-paced, and the average first-innings score has dropped to 180 this season, as compared to 190.8 from IPL 2021 onwards.

    Quotes

    “So I think you have to keep challenging yourself to try to take wickets because any team can score that 60-70 at the back-end, in the last four or five overs. So I think no score is safe. And you always feel you’re in the game, particularly when you’re chasing. I think most teams will come here and try to chase because they feel it’s easier to navigate the innings when you know what’s in front of you.”
    Sunrisers head coach Daniel Vettori on playing at the Chinnaswamy

    “The point about Virat [and his strike rate] seems to get a lot of media and air time in India. Among all the openers playing in the competition, he’s scored more runs than most of them. He’s also offering a pretty healthy strike rate. So I’m not spending too much time worrying about the way Virat’s batting, because he’s doing really well.”
    RCB’s director of cricket Mo Bobat backs the star batter with his reasons

    Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo



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