The 48th match of IPL 2023 will take place on May 5 (Friday) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, where Rajasthan Royals (RR) will face off against Gujarat Titans (GT). In their last encounter this season, RR managed to achieve their first victory against GT, successfully chasing down a target of 178 runs in the final over.

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The Royals are currently placed in fourth position on the IPL points table, having won five out of nine games this season. In their last match against the Mumbai Indians, the Royals batted first and posted a challenging total of 212 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs, with Yashasvi Jaiswal scoring his maiden IPL century. However, the Mumbai Indians managed to chase down the target in 19.3 overs with a collective batting effort, and Ravichandran Ashwin emerged as the most successful bowler for the Royals with two wickets for 27 runs in four overs.

Jos Buttler has had a decent start but has been struggling in his recent outings, and Sanju Samson has been unable to fire. Shimron Hetmyer, who played a crucial role in leading the team to some good finishes, has been dismissed for single-digit scores in his last four innings. These batters should adapt their tempo and play a few balls cautiously before launching an attack on the opposition.

Despite losing their last match to the Delhi Capitals, who are currently at the top of the IPL points table, GT’s batting unit didn’t perform well against the Capitals. Skipper Hardik Pandya took the blame on himself despite scoring a half-century and staying not out till the end, as the ace all-rounder couldn’t help GT win their seventh match in the league. Meanwhile, although Wriddhiman Saha has been impressive behind the stumps, his batting numbers are a cause for concern. However, GT is likely to continue backing him.

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On the other hand, Shubman Gill and Vijay Shankar will have to be more consistent to help Titans defend their title this season. As for the bowlers, Mohammed Shami has been exceptional, with 17 wickets in nine matches and leading the IPL Purple Cap race. Along with him, Irish pacer Joshua Little has done well, while young Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad has been one of the discoveries of the season.

IPL 2023: Top Player Battles to Keep an Eye on in RR VS GT Game:

IPL 2023: 3 Key Match-Ups to Watch-Out in RR vs GT Match No.48
IPL 2023: 3 Key Match-Ups to Watch-Out in RR vs GT Match No.48

3) Shubman Gill vs Trent Boult

With 339 runs in the bag, he is the top run-getter for the Titans this season, averaging 37.66 with a strike rate of 140.66. In particular, Gill has been a force to be reckoned with during the powerplay, scoring 166 runs at a strike rate of 149.54, which is the highest among all GT batters. The talented opener’s contribution with the bat will be key for Hardik Pandya and Co. on this occasion as well. However, he has an unimpressive record against RR speedster Trent Boult. The RR bowling spearhead has dismissed him only once but his strike-rate of 102 suggests that he struggles against the left-armer. In the IPL 2023, Boult has taken ten wickets in seven games at an average of 23.4, seven of which have been taken in the powerplay, the most for the Royals.

2) Sanju Samson vs Rashid Khan

Sanju Samson emerged victorious in the battle against Rashid Khan in their previous encounter when he smashed four sixes off Rashid’s bowling while chasing a formidable total. Three of those sixes came in the thirteenth over, which tilted the momentum in favor of the Royals. Since then, both players have made significant progress. Samson has scored 212 runs in nine matches at an average of 23.55 and a strike rate of 150.35, while Rashid has taken 15 wickets in nine games at an average of 20.53, an economy rate of 8.55, and a strike rate of 14.40, making him one of the leading wicket-takers of the season. While batters usually adopt a cautious approach against Rashid in T20 cricket, Samson went after him earlier this season and could do the same again. Nevertheless, Rashid has a variety of tricks up his sleeve and could outwit the RR batsman.

1) Yashasvi Jaiswal vs Mohammed Shami

Yashasvi Jaiswal has been a standout player for the Royals this season, amassing a whopping 428 runs in nine games with an impressive average of 47.55 and a strike rate of 159.70. He showcased his brilliance in the last game, smashing a magnificent century and ascending to the second position in the race for the Orange Cap. With his remarkable improvement from season to season, Jaiswal has now become a crucial player in the Royals’ batting lineup. Thanks to the exceptional contributions of their openers, especially Jaiswal, who has scored 227 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 165.69, the Royals currently boast the highest powerplay run rate this season.

Therefore, the Titans will have to focus on dismissing Jaiswal early, and they will pin their hopes on their top wicket-taker, Mohammed Shami, to deliver the goods. Shami has been a consistent performer for Gujarat, especially with the new ball, providing them with vital early wickets in the powerplay. However, Jaiswal has a decent record against Shami, scoring 24 runs in 22 balls and remaining unbeaten in all his encounters with him.

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