IPL 2021: RCB vs SRH Game Plan – Diving into the intricacies


Match 52 will see RCB vs SRH in an intense clash as the former prepares for the bigger challenges in the play-offs. Here we look at how Sunrisers can disrupt RCB’s batting rhythm.

While the men in orange will take the field with a nothing to lose attitude, the men in red and gold have their task cut out ahead of them. The Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to clean sweep their next two games in order to compete for a top 2 spot. The way the two teams have fared so far in this tournament, it would be quite obvious how this encounter might turn out to be. RCB will start the game as favorites and there isn’t much the Sunrisers would be able to do with a lot of holes to fill. This is what one would assume if you go by the logic that the better team would win the game. But T20 being such a fickle-natured format, there is a high chance that sporting logic is defied and the better team on paper loses. SRH, if they nail a few matchups, have got a perfect chance to pull off an upset.

RCB vs SRH: A Few Key Head-to-Head Matchups

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have a few players in their camp who have the ability to single-handedly swing the game in their team’s favor. One such man is Rashid Khan, who is known for bamboozling high-quality batters with his mystery spin. Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers, the two marquee batters of RCB are among the men against who Rashid has had a good outing. In the IPL across seasons, Rashid has kept Kohli quiet by conceding just 21 off the 24 balls he has bowled to him picking him once. Ab de Villiers has struggled against Rashid where he has given his wicket away thrice scoring just 38 runs in the 37 balls he has faced. This might be a key matchup considering the impact the two have had on the success of the franchise.

While the aforementioned matchup is a tried and tested one that has worked more often than not, SRH need to prioritize which batsman they would want their best bowler to bowl at; eye for early wickets or wait for a phase where they would need Rashid Khan to take them through a crucial passage of the game. With Virat Kohli showing great intent in the powerplay during the second phase of the IPL scoring at a rate of 146.66 averaging 110, it would be tempting for SRH to use their best bowler and try and get rid of Virat Kohli. In the UAE this season, teams have tried to bowl spin at him in the powerplay where he has faced just 10 balls and has scored at a rate of 5.4 runs per over without giving his wicket away.

As said earlier, Rashid Khan would be a tempting option to arrest the run flow in the powerplay, but SRH would want to save the 4 crucial overs of Rashid Khan for the middle overs phase where Maxwell has teed off so far. Who bowls in the powerplay? There is someone who has bowled six overs in the powerplay for SRH in the second phase of the IPL conceding at just 5.67 runs per over picking up three wickets. While that might look impressive, there is something else about this bowler that you would appreciate if you are a fan of the Sunrisers.

This bowler has got Kohli out twice in the past two years in the 9 bowls that he has bowled to him conceding just 8 runs off it. Now things start to look like they are coming together and SRH have a plausible solution to get rid of Kohli without spending Rashid Khan. The bowler who was in the discussion so far was Jason Holder.

RCB vs SRH – Setting Up Devdutt Padikkal

While Jason Holder looks like a decent matchup against Virat Kohli, now it is time to think of a way to stop Kohli’s partner Devdutt Padikkal. Padikkal in his IPL career has been dismissed 24 times out of which only 3 of them have been against spinners making him average a mammoth 87.33 against spin. He has also not been dismissed by spin so far in this season. So starting with spin from the other end might not be a good option.

What might be a good option is to have a fast bowler who can bowl really fast and angle the ball into the left-hander. Padikkal has had a problem facing the balls that have angled into him averaging just 15.17 having been dismissed 6 times, which is the highest number of times he has given his wicket away to a particular kind of delivery. Padikkal has also been dismissed a good number of times against balls that are bowled at a pace above 135 kph. He has been dismissed 12 times against balls bowled at a speed over 135 kph and has scored at a rate of 8.2 runs per over.


SRH have a potent resource at their offering to stop Padikkal and it is the young Umran Malik. Malik in his debut game had been quite impressive and he looks to be the perfect matchup against Padikkal. While Padikkal’s struggle against the deliveries angling in was seen earlier, Malik offers just that to get rid of Padikkal. In the only game that Malik played, out of the 24 balls that he bowled, 13 of them were balls that angled into the batter. Also, he has fared well against left-handed batters where he bowled 15 balls against LHBs in his earlier game conceding just 6 runs off them. With him hitting high speeds and Padikkal’s problem against high speed is known, Malik would probably be the guy who would most likely get rid of Devdutt Padikkal.

Apart from the three batters that have been under discussion so far, SRH would be hunting for something that would help them see the back of Maxwell as soon as he gets into the middle. With three consecutive fifties in his last three games, Maxwell has been breathing fire batting at 4 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.


Unfortunately, there is nothing much Maxwell has done wrong in this season so far. Proficient against all bowling types and a multitude of types of deliveries, Maxwell has been a tough nut to crack. A small hint would be that Maxwell struggles when he has played on the back foot this season averaging 24 and striking at 62.34 in the 77 balls that he has gone on the back foot. Thus the SRH bowlers can try and make him play on the backfoot to see if they can attain a favorable result.

With SRH having plausible solutions in their hand to three batters apart from Maxwell who RCB depend heavily on, there is a great chance that SRH will be able to exert some pressure on these batters if they nail the matchups as discussed in the course of this article.

Venkatasubramanian Narasimman

Taking strides as a cricket data analyst. I record my observations in the form of words and graphs.

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