IPL 2023 RCB vs GT Preview - Can RCB hold their nerve again?

Key match stats

Pitch Stats – M Chinnaswamy Stadium

Average first innings score: 195
Average first innings winning score: 197
Average powerplay score: 51
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd: 67% / 33%

Team form RCB vs GT


Recent meetings: IPL 2022 - RCB won by 8 wickets, GT won by 6 wickets

Preview RCB vs GT

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Whatever happens in the remaining matches, RCB's qualification for the playoffs is firmly in their own hands.

Rajasthan's win puts a bit of additional pressure on them while Mumbai get first opportunity to move to 16 points against an SRH side whose only purpose is to avoid the wooden spoon. However, RCB's net run-rate is such that unless MI can truly hammer SRH (I wouldn't put it past them) then a win should be enough. No doubt fans and commentators a like will have their calculators at the ready as the various permutations and needs to win by x amount or avoid defeat by so many runs become clearer.

RCB were indebted to their opening pair yet again in the win over SRH. Chasing 186 at the Rajiv Gandhi looked likely to be a tricky task but Kohli and du Plessis showed all their experience, class and big game temperament to see Bangalore through. Can they do the same again here?

OppositionKohli, du Plessis & Maxwell combined runsRCB total% of totalResult

Kohli, du Plessis and Maxwell contributions in IPL 2023

Of course all season we have seen that RCB are overly reliant on their big 3 batsmen to get them runs and even though it's rare to see them fail, it's likely that they will need more from the rest of the squad if they are to go on what needs to be a 6 match winning streak to claim a first IPL title.

Gujrat Titans claimed top spot for the 2nd time in as many seasons with a fairly routine win over SRH. There will be some concern that their normally strong middle order fell away in that match to theoretically give the Sunrisers a sniff of victory that looked impossible while Shubman Gill and Sai Sudharsan were at the crease for their 147 run partnership.

Still, I would expect that this GT batting line-up will continue to fire and having hitting depth in your XI has been a key factor for sides who have been successful at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium since records began!

In fact, that lack of a functioning middle and lower order has been a weakness for RCB all season, particularly at home. By contrast, sides like CSK, LSG and KKR all of whom have plenty of power and options for scoring fast, have visited here and won regardless of how the RCB top order have performed.

StatisticM Chinnaswamy Stadium IPL 2023
Total powerplay wickets19
Strike rate in the powerplay22.7
Economy in the powerplay8.4

Key powerplay bowling stats at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium

A really key battle here at the M Chinnaswamy will also be between the 2 most effective powerplay bowling units in this year's tournament. Led by Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj respectively, both franchises have used the new ball to great effect and will be keen to get early break throughs again on a pitch that will otherwise be very good for batting on.

RCB vs GT head to head

GT bowling vs RCB batting

Virat Kohli's first IPL hundred in over 4 years laid the foundation for RCB's latest victory but you'd expect him and Faf du Plessis to be tested by this Titans new ball attack.

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Shami vs Kohli T20 head to head

When you take a look back at the list above to see which sides have been effective against this strong RCB top order this season, KKR's efforts in limiting them twice in IPL 2023 really stands out. Given Kohli and du Plessis's preference for pace, it's no great surprise that on both occassions it was KKR's spinners who did the trick in dismissing those 3 key batsmen with minimal damage applied.

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Rashid Khan T20 head to head vs du Plessis

I fully expect GT to open with the likes of Shami but don't be surprised to see Rashid Khan or Noor Ahmed introduced early on if the seamers fail to get that prize early wicket.

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Dinesh Karthik death overs batting stats IPL 2023

Qualify or not, RCB certainly need to rethink their lower order. Dinesh Karthik scored 330 runs at a strike rate of 183 last season but has struggled to recapture that form. He'll be 38-years-old in June and has already begun to take steps towards a career in the media. Does he have one last hurrah in him?

RCB bowling vs GT batting

The Titans made a couple of changes for their game against SRH and still managed to get the necessary 2 points to guarantee them top spot. The qualifier game in Chennai will be held on Tuesday night so it might not be a surprise to see Gujarat rest and rotate again in this fixture with that game in mind.

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Siraj vs Shubman Gill T20 head to head

Of course GT aren't the only side to make some recent changes with Hasaranga being left out of the RCB team of late in favour of a combination of Karn Sharma and Bracewell. Sharma's record at the M Chinnaswamy is better than that of the Sri Lankan who has also been hit around by the likes of David Miller and Shubman Gill in previous T20 encounters.

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Karn Sharma IPL bowling record at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium

Ultimately, RCB need to ensure that they bowl well for the full 20 overs against this powerful Gujarat batting line-up, whoever they choose to select. We've seen in plenty of games at the M Chinnaswamy over the years that this is a six hitting venue and it's been no different in IPL 2023 where only the Wankhede has seen more maximums to date than here in Bangalore.

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Harshal Patel vs Miller T20 head to head

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.