IPL 2023 SRH vs RR Preview- Revamped Sunrisers looking for a bright start

Key match stats

Pitch Stats – Rajiv Gandhi Stadium

Average first innings score:158
Average first innings winning score: 169
Average powerplay score: 46
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd: 45% / 53%

Team form SRH vs RR

Recent meetings: IPL 2022 - won by 61 runs

Preview SRH v RR

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Sunrisers Hyderabad play Rajasthan Royals in both franchises' opening match of the tournament as was the case last year when the Royals got their season up and running early by dishing out a 61 run victory in the corresponding fixture.

This year we are likely to see a much changed SRH team take to the field. They were by far the busiest side in the auction, bidding on 13 players and securing 12 of them. Adil Rashid and Harry Brook will add a much needed wrist spin option and some middle order power respectively, both of which were sorely missing at times last year.

Towards the top of the order Mayank Agarwal brings some necessary experience to the top order and with newly appointed captain Aiden Markram not likely to feature for the first couple of games, he may well step into a leadership role early on. On that front, SRH will also be without Heinrich Klassen and Marco Jansen for the early part of the season.

By contrast, Rajasthan had a much quieter auction but did well to secure the services of Jason Holder who will help to solve a couple of issues they had last year in filling the 5th bowler role and adding some depth to a batting line-up that otherwise had a very long tail.

The Royals will hope to have the big allrounder in India in time for this match. The West Indies play their final T20 game on Tuesday (28 March) night. Shimron Hetmyer isn't playing in that series and therefore doesn't face a similar travel issue.

In fact, several of Rajasthan's players have limited their commitments elsewhere of late including star batsman Jos Buttler who is now seen as a white ball specialist by England and Trent Boult who has opted out of playing for New Zealand in order to concentrate solely on franchise cricket. With most other teams needing to wait until later in the tournament to get all their players together, that could prove to be an important factor for the Royals in these early stages.

The one major blow they have suffered is the loss of the excellent Prasidh Krishna who has been ruled out of the season with injury. The exciting Kuldeep Sen will likely fill his place and certainly offer the Rajasthan attack some extra pace.

VenuePace bowling strike ratePace bowling economy
Rajiv Gandhi21.17.6
IS Bindra21.58.1

Pace bowling strike rate and economy at venues to be used in IPL 2023

The match will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium on a pitch that over the years has generally favoured the quick bowlers. Of the venues being used in IPL 2023, only the Wankhede has provided seamers with a better strike rate although they've generally been harder to score from here in Hyderabad.

SRH vs RR head to head

RR bowling vs SRH batting

A couple of Sunrisers' newer recruits will certainly need to improve on their previous records at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. Former Rajasthan Royal's batsman Rahul Tripathi averages just 7 at this venue albeit that he's only played 3 innings here while Mayank Agarwal's record is based on a far greater sample size.

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Mayank Agarwal IPL batting stats at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium

That being said this stadium isn't one where the Rajasthan bowlers have tasted much in the way of success in the IPL either. Last season's purple cap winner, Yuzvendra Chahal, has taken just 3 wickets on this pitch at an average in excess of 50 while Trent Boult has found things even tougher on his visits to Hyderabad in the past.

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Trent Boult IPL bowling stats at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium

I mentioned in the SRH season preview that Agarwal's role at the top of the order will be to take on spin bowling and it will certainly be a fascinating match-up with him against Rajasthan's 2 front line spinners in Chahal and Ashwin. The wrist spinner has dismissed him 5 times while Ashwin's finger spin has accounted for Agarwal on 3 occasions but as the strike rate suggests, the Indian opener isn't going to hold back against his international colleagues.

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Agarwal v Ashwin and Chahal combined T20 head to head stats

SRH bowling vs RR batting

Bhuvneshwar Kumar returns to play an IPL match at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium for the first time in nearly 4 years. In the 9 years prior, Bhuvi has established himself as the all-time IPL leading wicket taker at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, a record that doesn't look likely to be broken any time soon.

B Kumar36
A Mishra29
Rashid Khan28
DW Steyn27
S Kaul21

All-time leading wicket takers in the IPL at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium

Bhuvi also has a great record against Jos Buttler in T20 cricket who himself joins the long list of batsmen appearing in this game who don't particularly seem to like playing at the Rajiv Gandhi. Buttler averages just 7 here and has been dismissed 5 times in previous meetings by Bhuvneshwar Kumar all since 2021 including 4 times within the first 3 overs of an innings. Considering the significance of Buttler to this Rajasthan side, it can't be underestimated how important it is to get him out early!


All Bhuvi's previous dismissals against Buttler in T20 cricket

Let's finish off with the one batsman playing in this match who does appear to enjoy a trip up to Hyderabad in RR captain Sanju Samson. He scored a 102 not out the last time he batted here having tasted previous success with Delhi as well. Having also struck a half-century the last 2 times these 2 sides met, he might be a batsman to keep an eye on in this fixture.

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Sanju Samson IPL batting record at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium

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 background images which are used under a creative commons license or otherwise royalty free


Not a huge difference on this ground batting first or second unlike other grounds. Expect the Sunrisers to run many teams close this season as they just seem a well balanced unit.


It'll be interesting to see how the pitch stats hold up as a lot of these venues haven't been used for IPL cricket in 3 seasons. I think Sunrisers need to start well to help gel the dressing room.