Saturday, May 18, 2024

Bengaluru eye step-up from under fire bowlers against SRH


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Bengaluru, April 14: Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s IPL campaign that began in cheerfulness has melted into chaos, and their bowlers require a drastic transformation in mindset against Sunrisers Hyderabad for them to register an elusive win here on Monday.
The Royal Challengers have players of repute and elite coaches with lofty pedigree but none of their plans have worked so far, evidenced by the team’s 10th place in the standings with a solitary win from six matches.The RCB’s trundling run in this IPL is directly linked to their bowlers’ ineffectiveness.They showed a distinct lack of willingness to adapt and upskill on conditions that needed a different thinking.
In this IPL, the bowlers have often relied on variations like knuckle balls, slow bouncers and pace-off deliveries to counter a set of ultra-aggressive batsmen.
However, the Bengaluru bowlers have been largely unidimensional in their approach allowing batters to tackle them with ease and the match against Mumbai Indians offers a case study.
For once, the RCB batters fired collectively to take them to 196, but MI hunted down the target in just 15.3 overs at the Wankhede Stadium as the visiting bowlers were quite magnanimous in offering freebies.Dew, short boundaries etc cannot be counted as excuses when a team leaks above 13 runs per over. In fact, the RCB bowlers did not have the urge or imagination to blunt a batting unit full of intent.That’s an ominous sign against the Sunrisers, whose batting line-up is as intimidating as that of the MI.Two Hyderabad batters – Heinrich Klaasen (186) and Abhishek Sharma (177) – are inside the top-10 run-makers and Travis Head (133) too has been consistent.
But more than the quantity of runs, how they made it make them more dangerous as Klaasen (193), Abhishek (208) and Head (177) have torn apart the bowling unit in the Power Play and in the middle-late overs.That uniform power allocation through batting ranks makes SRH a tall proposition for the opposition bowlers.
This is not to say that SRH, currently fifth on the table with six points from five matches, do not have a weak point.Similar to RCB, bowling has been Hyderabad’s soft underbelly in this tournament with spinners Shahabaz Ahmed and Mayank Markande giving away more than 11 runs in an over with minimal returns.
But the Hyderabad outfit has found a saviour in skipper Pat Cummins, their highest wicket-taker with six scalps and he has also conceded just over seven runs an over, a very respectable economy rate in this format.Additionally, Cummins has also shown the flexibility to operate at various junctures of a match with the new ball in the Power Play.
Match starts at 7.30 PM. (PTI)


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