IPL 2023 PBKS vs RR Preview - destiny out of their hands

Key match stats

Pitch Stats – HPCA Stadium

Average first innings score: 179
Average first innings winning score: 195
Average powerplay score: 42
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd: 60% / 40%

Team form PBKS vs RR


Recent meetings: PBKS won by 5 runs

Preview PBKS vs RR

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Defeats in their most recent fixtures leave both these sides needing a win from what is their final fixtures of the round robin stage to maintain any hope of reaching the playoffs.

I'm writing this blog ahead of the RCB game this afternoon and you can bet that both franchises will have at least one eye on proceedings at the Rajiv Gandi stadium. The bad news is that the Kings and the Royals need this poor SRH side to do them not just 1 but 2 favours with Mumbai Indians welcoming the Sunrisers to the Wankhede on Sunday too.

It looks then as though this is the end of the road for both teams in IPL 2023 and given their recent results neither deserves a place in the playoffs.

PBKS seem to save their best performances for games were they are the distinct underdogs, winning matches away against Rajasthan, Lucknow, Gujarat and Mumbai but then taking just 2 wins from 5 games against the sides that have spent most of the season below them in the league (KKR, DC and SRH).

Rajasthan's season hit a new low at the weekend when they were bundled out for just 59, narrowly avoiding their own lowest total in the IPL which also came against RCB (58 all out in 2009) not to mentioned the lowest total ever in the IPL (48) which was posted by RCB themselves back in 2017.

It'll be interesting to see how these sides respond in the off-season. Both need reinforcements in their middle order to shore up their batting. Rajasthan will be very keen to get Prasidh Krishna back and fit to strengthen their pace options. Meanwhile, PBKS need to look at how they are going to take wickets, particularly on the flat tracks in Mohali, to give themselves a chance of victory in more games and take the pressure off a batting unit that has performed beyond expectations this year.

Speaking of pitches, the one that we saw here at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday looked like a really good track. There was certainly pace, bounce and some early movement, particularly for the DC bowlers whose efforts to restrict PBKS to 47 for 1 in the powerplay was ultimately the difference between the sides. However, once the ball had gotten a bit softer the pitch looked true, the boundaries short and the ball sailed with ease through the thin atmosphere.

We saw 24 maximums hit in the game here against the Capitals, or to put in another way, a six every 10 balls! A few of the Rajasthan batsmen who have been out of form of late can take solace from the fact that even the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Rilee Rossouw and Liam Livingstone, who have all struggled for runs this year, found conditions very much to their liking in Dharamshala.

PBKS vs RR head to head

RR bowling vs PBKS batting

Khaleel Ahmed in particular found appreciable swing in his opening spell here on Wednesday night and I'm sure that the Royals will hope to see something similar from their own left-armer in Trent Boult.

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Boult vs Dhawan T20 head to head

Boult has done pretty much what you would expect Boult to do this season in taking 9 powerplay wickets and striking once every 15 balls he bowls in that phase of the game. Where he and the Royals more generally have struggled is in getting their seamers to strike during the middle over phase.

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RR middle over phase bowling stats IPL 2023

The Royals instead have relied on their spinners to do the bulk of the bowling during that part of the game. However, in the match here against DC, the slow bowlers between them took just a single wicket (Kuldeep Yadav was unlucky with a couple of drop catches) and so it'll be interesting to see what personnel and tactical changes RR might adopt.

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Sandeep Sharma IPL bowling record at the HPCA Stadium

Could Rajasthan bring back a tall bowler like Jason Holder to take advantage of the bounce we saw here? I think a lot of fans expected to see more of a bowler like Kuldeep Sen this year but he's played just twice in IPL 2023 and even then has bowled just 3 overs! Is it time to give him another opportunity?

PBKS bowling vs RR batting

While in certain matches this season, Arshdeep Singh has been used more outside the powerplay, I would expect him to be given first crack at this Royals top order given his head to head record against them. Arshdeep accounted for Jaiswal when these 2 sides met earlier in the tournament as well as in the fixture between these them in IPL 2022.

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Arshdeep vs Jaiswal T20 head to head

Kagiso Rabada is another player that most fans thought they'd see more of this season. His wicket taking record in this tournament is phenomenal and his career IPL bowling strike rate still sits at 14.83. He looked like he might add to his tally early on Wednesday evening when he found plenty of pace and bounce against his old adversary in David Warner but there after, he faded out of the game and generally cut a dejected figure in the outfield, letting a regulation stop on the boundary ropes go through his legs at the end of the DC innings.

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Rabada T20 head to head vs Buttler

He is certainly a very expensive asset for PBKS to have sat on the bench. Will he be given another chance in this match or have we seen the last of Rabada this year and potentially in a PBKS shirt in the future?

Baring a couple of farcical batting performances at home against Gujrat Titans and RCB (RR lost 5 wickets to slow bowlers in each), this Rajasthan side have played spin very well all season. Even during those aforementioned collapses, it was the quick bowlers within the opposition sides who did the early damage against the Royals top order to set it up for the spinners later on.

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RR record vs spin bowling IPL 2023

Having looked very effective on a slow turning wicket in Delhi, the Capitals batsmen found Harpreet Brar's left-arm spin much more agreeable here at the HPCA stadium. Given the conditions and the preference of the opposition, PBKS could well look to bring in further fast bowling options for this game.

All stats used in this blog are from my own databases which are freely accessible below
IPL head to head player stats
IPL player stats by venue
IPL stadium statistics.
Images are my own with the exception of player profiles and highlights within GIFs which are not intended to infringe copyright- read full disclaimer. Background images are used under a creative commons license or otherwise royalty free.


I wish I saw this game... Must have missed alot of the thrills


Don't worry, it's a match preview, so you've still got time to watch it and leave a comment with your thoughts on the game...