IPL 2023: Match 5 (RCB vs MI) – 3 Players Matchups To Watchout For
By CricShots - Apr 2, 2023 11:44 am
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The final match of the campaign openers for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 will see the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) face the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Both sides have suffered significant injury concerns. While MI will sorely miss Jasprit Bumrah while RCB will not have the services of Josh Hazlewood for the first 6-7 matches. Additionally, Sri Lankan and RCB spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will not be available for a few games as he is on national duty.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis

RCB registered a close win over MI durng their last meeting in IPL 2022. Despite injury and form concerns, MI will be bolstered by the inclusion of Cameron Green, a marquee acquisition from the mini-auction. Tim David’s promising finishing ability is another positive for the franchise, which has not qualified for the IPL playoffs for two years in a row now.

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On the contrary, RCB is the only team to have qualified for the IPL playoffs in the last three editions and it is a matter of getting a few steps closer to winning the coveted trophy. Here are three player battles to watch out for from the high-profile IPL encounter.

#1 Rohit Sharma vs Reece Topley

reece topley
Reece Topley

The contest between Rohit Sharma and a left-arm fast bowler has always bound to be interesting given the track record. Given the absence of Hazlewood, RCB will be including Reece Topley in the XI to make things uncomfortable for MI, especially in the powerplay. Rohit has faced 14 deliveries from Topley in T20s across two meetings, scoring 19 runs while losing his wicket once.

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The statistical side of things is quite even, perhaps a little skewed in favor of Topley. It would be interesting to see how the MI skipper deals with the extra height and bounce along with the natural angle. Reece Topley got the better of Rohit during their last meeting. Topley trapped Rohit lbw during England’s second ODI win at Lord’s in 2022 en route to match-winning figures of 6-25.

#2 Virat Kohli vs Jason Behrendorff

jason behrendorff
Jason Behrendorff

Once again, it is a premier Indian batter, Virat Kohli will also be matched up against a quality left-arm seamer and it can decide the course of the match. Virat will be expected to open the innings for RCB this season alongside skipper Faf du Plessis. The ace Indian batter will be up against a powerplay specialist in Jason Behrendorff.

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Things will prove to be tricky if the Australian seamer gets some swing and seam with the new ball around under the lights. Kohli has faced 33 deliveries from Behrendorff over his career, having scored 41 runs, while being dismissed once. The sole wicket came during the left-arm seamer’s T20I debut, where managed to dismiss Kohli for a duck.

#3 Faf du Plessis vs Jofra Archer

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis 

Jofra Archer will be donning MI’s jersey for the first time despite being roped in at the IPL 2022 mega-auction. The England speedster will mean business and will be relishing the prospect of bowling at RCB skipper Faf du Plessis. The veteran opener has not had a good time against Archer in the past.

Faf has faced 64 balls across five innings from the right-arm pacer, and has only managed to score 58 runs at a strike rate of 91. To make matters worse, the RCB skipper lost his wicket twice to the Englishman. Archer is bound to steam in with the new ball and wickets in the powerplay are expected to be the main agenda on the cards.