Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Titans are ready to compete in Match 48 of the IPL 2023. The cricket match is set to be played at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, RR’s home ground.
Since RR is facing the table leader in the game, the team will need every bit of extra support it can muster. GT is currently leading the pack with 12 points in 9 games, while RR is right behind it with 10 points in 9 games.
The match can dictate the table standings, giving RR a chance to emerge at the top. With the home-field advantage, RR will hope to leverage the familiar pitch conditions and the home crowd’s support. Moreover, playing on the home pitch allows the local stars to flaunt their talent.
Teams like CSK have shown how home-ground support can put pressure on opponents. At the same time, it allows the hosting side to play their natural game without unnecessary restrictions.
Can RR leverage the home-side advantage?
Entering the match will undoubtedly be a better scenario for RR. The team has played more games in the conditions, and they have the crowd’s support.
Recently, the team recorded its first victory against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad, GT’s home stadium. In addition, Gujarat lost a winnable match against DC at Motera Stadium, putting the squad under pressure.
RR understands how the pitch at Jaipur helps pacers and eventually batters. Additionally, the Sawai Mansingh Stadium is known for assisting the chasing side. If RR wins the toss, they will try to put pressure on GT early in the inning using bowling and the home crowd.
How GT and RR have performed on their home grounds
When it comes to capitalizing on the home-side advantage, RR emerges as the clear favorite. The team has more experience, having been in the IPL since the first edition.
RR has played 51 matches on its home ground, registering a win in 32 matches while losing 16 and drawing 3. The team recently defeated a strong-looking CSK while batting first, which is a rare sight in the Jaipur stadium.
On the other hand, GT has also capitalized well on its home ground, beating the likes of CSK and MI. However, the team choked against the Delhi Capitals on their home ground, failing to chase down a total of 131.
Based on this performance alone, RR will feel comfortable entering the match in front of its home crowd. Jaiswal has been playing well for RR, so the fans would love to see the player maintain his performance.
However, since the Jaipur pitch is known to assist pacers, RR must remain careful against Shami, the current Purple Cap holder.
Match prediction: RR vs. GT
On paper, RR and GT appear to be equal opponents. In fact, the teams seem to be in the ideal opposition.
While RR has relied on its batting throughout the IPL, GT has relied on its bowlers, particularly Mohammed Shami. Gujarat has also amassed more than 200 runs, but the team is currently ranked first due to its bowlers.
Gujarat’s best player, Shubman Gill, has scored 339 runs in IPL 2023, while Rajastha’s best player, Yashasvi Jaiswal, is trailing Faf Du Plessis, the RCB captain, with 428 runs.
Shami is leading GT with 17 wickets in the bowling department as a pacer. Conversely, RR’s two best bowlers are spinners: Ashwin with 13 wickets and Chahal with 12 wickets.
RR would like to target Hardik Pandya during the powerplay since the batsman has been struggling throughout the competition. If the team manages to restrict Pandya while getting the wicket of Shubman Gill, they will have an easy time against GT.
On the other hand, GT will certainly use Shami to target openers like Jaiswal and Buttler. Rashid Khan will also pose a threat in front of RR finishers like Hetmyer and Paddikal.
The match will highlight this dynamic of GT pacers vs. RR openers and RR spinners vs. GT finishers.
Key players to look out for
On a pitch that supports pacers early on, Mohammed Shami will undoubtedly be the most prized asset for GT. The bowler is currently wearing the Purple Cap, and will target RR from the first bowl.
However, Hardik’s assessment of the situation will determine Shami’s performance. If the bowler cannot perform well in front of an opposing crowd, Hardik might save Shami’s overs during the powerplay.
On the batting front, Jaiswal and Gill will be the top two picks among fantasy players. Both batsmen have maintained immense popularity across the best cricket betting sites due to their performances in the IPL 2023.
Both players can dethrone Faf du Plessis and claim the Orange Cap in the match. Jaiswal will find the conditions better since he knows the ground and the home crowd. Samson can open the innings and help Jaiswal maintain composure if needed.
Will the pressure of expectations crush RR?
Playing in front of the home crowd gives an edge to players. However, it can be a double-edged sword if the player is not in form.
The case was evident in the duel between RCB and LSG. First, RCB lost its cricket match against LSG on its home ground. Later, LSG failed to reach the target of 127 on its soil.
RR would like to avoid the scenario, especially seeing how its top player is a youngster. Playing in front of a jam-packed stadium can pressure Jaiswal, so the veterans should assist the player accordingly.
As passionate as the RR fans are, the team would like to focus more on their game instead of playing in front of the home crowd.
When playing on home turf, RR has showcased why the team has competed for 15 years. The team has won 32 of its 51 home games, while GT suffers in the area, with only 2 IPL appearances under its belt.
On Rajasthan’s home soil, GT will feel immense pressure to perform. It will be upon Hardik to steer the innings early on, seeing Gill’s stature as a youngster. However, if GT fails to do so, RR can capitalize on it with their pitch familiarity.
It will all boil down to the toss and who manages to deal with pressure. If RR fails to get the GT openers out, it will have a much harder time trying to salvage the game.