Gujarat Titans (GT) will be locking horns with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the 43rd match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium. Both teams have had contrasting results in their last few matches and RCB will need to reassess their batting department which has been consistently failing.
The poor form of Virat Kohli hasn’t helped the Faf du Plessis and his men while Glenn Maxwell has shown signs of inconsistency. With five wins in nine games, RCB is standing at fifth position in the points table at the moment. On the other hand, Gujarat Titans pulled off a win in yet another close game and got back to the top of the points table with seven wins in eight games.
The Hardik Pandya-led side has found different match-winners in each of their wins and it has been an excellent campaign for the new franchise so far. The Titans have shown that if their top-order fails, there is assurance that the lower order can bail the team out, though captain Hardik Pandya was hoping that his side’s luck does not run out later in the tournament. Ahead of Saturday’s double-header, we take a look at the player battles to watch out for in the GT vs RCB match.
#1 Virat Kohli vs Mohammed Shami
The out-of-form Virat Kohli has witnessed a lot of criticism in recent times and it has ranged from mild to scathing and the former RCB skipper will be keen to get his form back. With too many single-digit scores this season, Kohli has looked vulnerable and helpless — something Mohammed Shami will be expected to exploit. Shami has been impressive for the Titans as he has scalped 13 wickets from eight matches this season at an economy rate of 7.53.
#2 Hardik Pandya vs Josh Hazlewood
The sheer pace and controlled length meet extreme power when GT captain, Hardik Pandya will be up against the Aussie quick Josh Hazlewood. The RCB fast bowler has been the find of the season for the team, scalping 10 wickets from five matches so far, at an economy rate of 7.15. Pandya has been in scintillating form for Gujarat, as he has amassed 305 runs from seven games at an average of 61.00 and a strike rate of 137.38.
#3 Glenn Maxwell vs Rashid Khan
Glenn Maxwell has the best average against spinners in IPL 2022 as he has smashed a boundary every 2.8 balls against them. Against the wily Rashid Khan, he averages 68. While Maxwell has looked in decent form, he has gone off-color in the last couple of games. Rashid was expensive with the ball in the last match but was destructive with the bat. However, he will be eager to exploit the inexperienced Bangalore middle-order that’s been good enough for them, so far, this season.