IPL 2023 RR vs SRH - 2 out of form sides desperate for the win
Key match stats
Pitch Stats – Sawai Mansingh Stadium
Average first innings score: 158
Average first innings winning score: 178
Average powerplay score: 32
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd: 67% / 33%
Team form RR vs SRH
Recent meetings: RR won by 72 runs
Preview RR vs SRH
Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad sees a repeat of the opening fixture in IPL 2023 for both these sides. The Royals handed out a 72 run thrashing to SRH on that occassion and then went on to dish out a similarly heavy defeat against the Capitals before claiming victory against much better opposition in CSK and GT both away from home.
4 wins from their opening 5 matches for RR has been followed up with just a solitary 2 points from their latest 5 games. The only side with an equally poor record of late are their opponents today in Sunrisers Hyderabad who also have just one win in their last 5.
SRH's defeat against fellow strugglers KKR earlier in the week means that baring an unlikely run of 5 straight wins then their playoff hopes are now over. Rajasthan meanwhile have enough credit in the bank to get themselves back into contention but they'll want to arrest their recent slump in form with a convincing win against what are inferior opposition.
I noted in my preview of the Royals match against Gujarat that a few of their key performers were in terrible touch and so it wasn't any great surprise that they were blown away by the Titans bowlers. The real question now is will they make any changes to their personnel or stick with what they've got?
Joe Root has been left carrying the drinks for the duration of tournament so far. From an entirely selfish point of view, as an England fan it'd be nice to see him play some cricket in advance of the Ashes this summer. He would certainly offer a bit more stability to a Rajasthan batting line-up that has looked flakey in recent weeks.
However, it's worth noting that Rajasthan do still have the highest average powerplay score of all sides in IPL 2023 with an average score of 57.3 for the loss of 0.9 wickets. Buttler and Jaiswal hammered 85 off the powerplay when these 2 sides met earlier in the season and so perhaps these are the perfect opponents for the Royals top order to get back into the swing of things.
What was also surprising in the defeat to Gujarat was Rajasthan's inability to pull back their poor start against the spinners. Prior to their last defeat, the Royals had lost just 11 wickets all season to slow bowlers and were averaging over 50 vs spin. That stat has now fallen but they remain one of the best teams against spin and that could be crucial for the remainder of the season with 2 games here at the Sawai Mansingh and a trip to Eden Gardens where KKR are likely to field 3 spinners.
|Team||Average vs Spin||Strike Rate vs Spin|
All IPL teams record against spin bowling in the 2023 season to date
By contrast SRH continue to struggle at the top of the order and fell to 56 for 4 in pursuit of KKR's 171. They have the lowest average powerplay score in the tournament so far at 44.6 for 1.5 and they've struggled in the middle overs particularly against slower bowling.
The Sunrisers made a lot of changes over the close season but it seems likely that further tweaks are needed to get the balance right before they can be considered genuine challengers for a playoff spot.
RR vs SRH head to head
SRH bowling vs RR batting
I noted Bhuvi's excellent record against Jos Buttler in the last preview between these 2 sides and he might fancy adding to that record given Buttler's poor form. At the same time, Bhuvi's IPL record at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium is not great with just a solitary wicket from his 3 previous visits.
Bhuvi IPL bowling stats at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium
A couple of Rajasthan's batsmen might fancy that Sunrisers are the perfect opposition to restart their seasons against. Sanju Samson looked at ease in recording a half-century earlier in the season against this attack and in general he has a very good record against the current SRH squad.
Sanju Samson T20 head to head against current SRH squad
Sunrisers have also struggled to take wickets during the final 5 overs of the innings with only fellow strugglers KKR and DC having a worse record in that regard. Shimron Hetmyer averages over 60 against the bowlers within SRH's current squad, striking at 138. Can he rediscover his mojo in this game?
RR bowling vs SRH batting
Rahul Tripathi knows the conditions here at the Sawai Mansingh as well as anyone following an extended stint with the Royals. You'd have to say that he's been one of the most disappointing players so far this season with just 190 runs at a strike rate of 121. His 413 runs at a S/R of 158 was good enough to earn a long awaited call up to the national team but he looks well of that form at the moment.
Rahul Tripathi IPL batting stats at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium
Mayank Agarwal is another experienced player who has failed to live up to expectations. He's scored just 187 runs from 9 innings with no half-centuries so far this season. His record against this Rajasthan bowling attack doesn't suggest that he's likely to improve on those stats today...
Agarwal T20 head to head vs current RR squad*
Rajasthan will feel that they have the spin attack to once again pose the Sunrisers problems throughout the middle overs. Harry Brook may have scored 1 of only 3 hundreds so far this season but he's offered very little else. With players like Glen Phillips on the bench he might be lucky to keep his place.
Chahal vs Brook all dismissals
If he does play, he'll be up against Yuvendra Chahal who got the better of him earlier in the season and has done for him 3 times in just 14 deliveries.
All stats used in this blog are from my own databases which are freely accessible below
IPL head to head player stats
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IPL stadium statistics.
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