IPL 2023 SRH vs RCB Preview - Can Bangalore peak at the right moment?

Key match stats

Pitch Stats – Rajiv Gandhi Stadium

Average first innings score: 173
Average first innings winning score: 178
Average powerplay score: 47
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd: 67% / 33%

Team form SRH vs RCB


Recent meetings: IPL 2022 RCB won by 67 runs and SRH won by 9 wickets

Preview SRH vs RCB

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Royal Challengers' crushing win over fellow playoff hopefuls Rajasthan Royals has given their campaign a new lease of life and following MI's defeat last night, means that a win here would almost certainly move them into the top 4 with 1 round of matches to go.

If they can achieve it, it would represent a 4th straight playoff finish and perhaps more importantly for a side that has yet to win the IPL, it would see RCB hitting form at the right time of year. In previous years, Bangalore have started like a train only to run out of steam as the tournament progresses but perhaps this year will be different?

The match against RR looked like it might be following an all too familiar pattern for RCB this year. Get off to a good start, lose the top order and struggle to a par score. However, the 29 from 11 balls hit by Anuj Rawat was priceless in upping RCB's total to 171 when it looked as though they may limp through to around 150. RCB will need a few of those lesser known names to continue to deliver alongside their star players if they are to finally get their hands on the IPL trophy.

As for SRH, their loss against GT was a microcosm of their entire season. There were parts when they looked really good including taking a wicket in the first over and then returning to claim 8 wickets for 40 runs and limit Gujarat to what looked like an achievable total. Thereafter, it was only Heinrich Klaasen's rearguard innings that saved them from total humiliation.

I commented in my preview of that game that we need to consider SRH's season in the larger context of what have been a difficult couple of years for the franchise. However, the really concerning thing from that defeat in Ahmedabad was that the body language of the Sunrisers players at times throughout the game suggested they were already beaten.

SRH finish their season against 2 sides with it all to play for (MI in their final game) and if they're not up for the fight then you do worry that they might get blown away in both those contests.

Season1st innings2nd inningsResult
2020RCB 120/7SRH 121/5SRH win by 5 wickets (35 balls remaining)
2020RCB 131/7SRH 132/4SRH win by 6 wickets (2 balls remaining)
2021RCB 149/8SRH 143/9RCB win by 6 runs
2021SRH 141/7RCB 137/6SRH win by 4 runs
2022RCB 68SRH 72/1SRH win by 9 wickets (72 balls remaining)
2022RCB 192/3SRH 125RCB win by 67 runs

Recent results SRH vs RCB

In fact, low scoring has been a bit of a theme in matches between these 2 sides of late. Until RCB hammered 192 at a similar stage last season then you had to go all the way back to September 2020 since the last time a side posted 160+ in this fixture with some very low totals coming in between.

SRH vs RCB head to head

RCB bowling vs SRH batting

RCB's decision to replace 2 of their premier overseas stars in Josh Hazlewood and Wanindu Hasaranga paid dividends in their game against the Royals. After Mohammed Siraj claimed the prize wicket of Jaiswal, Wayne Parnell stormed through with figures of 3 for 10 to leave RR 28 for 5 at the end of the powerplay and the game essentially over as a contest.

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RCB powerplay bowling stats IPL 2023

Against this shaky looking Sunrisers batting unit then you'd imagine that RCB's bowlers will be licking their lips at the chance of adding further powerplay wickets to their already impressive haul this season. The 30 they have claimed to date is 6 clear of nearest rivals GT who have played a game more and well ahead of the average for IPL 2023 which is 18. To put in another way, RCB have been claiming one more powerplay wicket per game on average this season.

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Mohammed Siraj IPL record at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium

One of RCB's chief destroyers this season with 9 powerplay wickets to his name has been Mohammed Siraj who of course started his IPL career here in Hyderabad and has very good stats on this pitch.

I've commented all season about the struggles that SRH have had against left-arm slow bowling. To date they've lost 12 wickets to left-arm finger spinners in IPL 2023 and added just 161 runs at a shade over a run a ball.

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Shahbaz Ahmed IPL 2023 bowling stats

RCB's primary left-arm spin option is Shahbaz Ahmed but he has rarely been used in games this season and is yet to claim a wicket. Could that lack of left-arm threat help this SRH middle order to fire in front of their home fans?

SRH bowling vs RCB batting

The real question for any team facing RCB this season is how do you get their 3 main batsmen out? Bhuvi looked in great touch against the Titans earlier in the week and if he can deliver a similar spell here today then SRH will believe they are in with a chance.

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Bhuvi T20 head to head stats vs Kohli, du Plessis and Maxwell

Certainly the above stats suggest those 3 batsmen will play Sunrisers' veteran bowler with the respect he deserves and so it might well be that we see them attack at the other end. In fact, that has been the way that most teams have approached playing SRH this year with Bhuvi achieving an economy rate of 8.16 in IPL 2023 and the Sunrisers' other fast bowling options collectively going at 9.63 an over.

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Farooqi T20 head to head vs current RCB squad

Where Sunrisers have been good all season and as we saw even during their struggles against the Titans earlier in the week, is at the death. Their economy rate of 9.8 an over is only bettered by 3 other sides in this year's tournament (GT, LSG and RR) and they've taken 21 wickets in that phase of the game, again a record that is comparable with the teams challenging for playoff places.

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Natarajan T20 head to head vs Maxwell

Conversely, the death overs have been a major weakness for Bangalore with only bottom placed Delhi Capitals scoring at a slower rate than RCB have managed in the final 5 overs of games. If SRH can keep themselves in the game for the first 15 overs of the RCB batting effort then they'll fancy that they have the resources to limit the scoring later on.

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.