Wednesday, April 24, 2024

RCB eye better outing against PBKS


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Bengaluru, March 24: Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s IPL 2024 campaign is just one-match old but it has already exposed their biggest chink — brittleness in bowling, and they need better returns from bowlers against a confident Punjab Kings at an unforgiving M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.
During their six-wicket defeat against Chennai Super Kings, the pacers were guilty of blindly following a short-pitch ball strategy while the spinners just did not have enough resources to exploit a gradually slowing-down Chepauk pitch.The three RCB spinners — Mayank Dagar, Karn Sharma and Glenn Maxwell — bowled five overs between them and managed middling figures of 37 for one without actually troubling the batters.
In contrast, the two CSK spinners — Ravindra Jadeja and Maheesh Theekshana –bowled a combined eight overs for figures of 57 for four when the deck was much easier to bat.
So, the Royal Challengers’ spinners will have to brace for a tougher task here as the 22-yard trampoline with short fences and a quick outfield is not a friendly associate of theirs.
These numbers will make that point clear. This venue holds the record of teams scoring more than 200 runs in an innings on most occasions — 27 times, and the average first innings score in the IPL here is 172.
But those grim stats also put the onus on the RCB pace bowlers against Punjab.Mohammed Siraj, Alzarri Joseph, in particular, and Yash Dayal zealously used the quota of two bouncers per over against Chennai but in doing so they sacrificed their control over line and length.It reflected in their run-giving rate too — Siraj (9.5), Joseph (10.3), Dayal (9.3).Cameron Green, the fourth pacer, took pace off his deliveries and employed the cutters that fetched him two wickets but they were interspersed with loose deliveries as the Aussie conceded nine runs an over.
However, following a single-channel strategy will be suicidal at Chinnaswamy and they will have to find a way to use their copious amount of skills more judiciously.But there is another rather unnoticed glitch. As it often happens, the RCB total of 173 for six against the Super Kings is a bit of misinformative.It came after a top-order collapse that saw RCB reeling at 78 for five. It required the industry and innovation of Dinesh Karthik and Anuj Rawat for them to go past the 170-run mark.But banking on lower-order is not an everyday workable approach, as seniors such as Virat Kohli, skipper Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell will have to get those big runs.Of course, a more fruitful outing by Rajat Patidar, who had a torrid time in the recent Test series against England, too will be highly welcome as runs from him offer a cushion for batters ahead of him.
It is imperative too as Punjab is a capable side as they showed while producing a clinical effort against a more fancied Delhi Capitals on Saturday. (PTI)


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