IPL 2022: Have RCB perfected batting plans? Why Iyer needs calm against leggies? Burning questions from RCB vs KKR clash

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IPL 2022: Have RCB perfected batting plans? Why Iyer needs calm against leggies? Burning questions from RCB vs KKR clash
© Provided by Firstpost IPL 2022: Have RCB perfected batting plans? Why Iyer needs calm against leggies? Burning questions from RCB vs KKR clash

It’s only natural that we get an exciting contest when two very mercurial teams face off against each other. However, on Wednesday we saw the tactical side of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders as the two teams made some commendable tactical calls under pressure in a low-scoring thriller.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Here are a few burning questions from the contest.

Why Shreyas Iyer should hold his horses against leg-spinners

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Shreyas Iyer’s spin-hitting prowess has never been in doubt. Even with his issues against short-pitched bowling garnering attention in the last couple of years, what’s probably escaped a bit of scrutiny is his tendency to take on leg-spinners without great success and high risk in doing so.

In T20Is for India, for instance, Iyer has been dismissed six times by leg-spinners while averaging 19.2 against them. He, however, strikes at a rate of 135.3 against them despite it being an unfavourable matchup. In the IPL, even with him playing the anchor role for Delhi Capitals in the last couple of seasons, Iyer has been dismissed five times by leg-spinners while averaging 23.2 against them.

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He took on Wanindu Hasaranga on Wednesday and holed out in the deep at a time the team probably needed him to stay out in the middle for longer.

Do RCB have a gem in their hands in Wanindu Hasaranga?

Iyer, at the post-match presentation ceremony, gave a hint into what Kolkata Knight Riders’ had planned for Hasaranga, the No 6 ranked ICC T20I spinner.

“We decided we’ll play him as an off-spinner, unfortunately, didn’t go to plan.”

Heavily reliant on his googlies, Hasaranga’s mystery is evident in how Sheldon Jackson played all around a wrong ‘un that spun sharply back in to take the stumps. The Sri Lankan is, for certain, in RCB’s Plan A this season, unlike last year when he was handed a step-motherly treatment.

Since 2020, RCB’s spin attack has a really good record in the middle overs, taking 44 wickets, the second-best for any team and that was primarily down to Yuzvendra Chahal, who is no longer with the franchise now.

RCB are banking on Hasaranga to be that attacking middle overs spinner to continue dominating this phase. Hasaranga has 58 wickets at an economy rate of 6.35 in the middle overs in his T20 career thus far and could be a really good buy for RCB this year.

What makes Harshal Patel a frontrunner for purple cap again?

Harshal Patel is special. You could see it when he mixed up his lengths, lines, and pace to keep batters on their toes last year and this year he’s at it again, doing all of that in an impeccable fashion. His dismissal of Andre Russell was a major turning point in the game for RCB, and it came off the back of a string of well-planned deliveries to Russell.

Over 13.1 – Short, slower delivery on the stumps – LEFT ALONE, NO RUN

Over 13.2 – Length ball at pace on stumps – Inside edged, NO RUN

Over 13.3 – Short, pacy delivery on the stumps – PLAY AND MISS, NO RUN

Over 13.4 – Short, on the stumps – Played to third man – NO RUN.

Having kept his line straight to Russell until this point, Harshal threw in a bait — a wide, scrambled seam delivery to lure Russell into the big hit, fully knowing that the West Indian has been struggling to middle those in the last two years. The extra bounce brought the edge and Harshal had made another vital breakthrough.

Harshal’s ability to work over batters and use the crease and slower balls effectively made him quite the sensation last year and more of that seems very likely this year too.

Are bowling sides moving towards a powerplay-first approach?

Umesh Yadav played in all of two matches in the last two seasons but has turned up at IPL 2022 to deliver two impactful performances in the powerplay overs in the first two games. He is arguably part of a larger change towards a more attacking approach by bowling teams in the powerplay.

In the first game, Chennai Super Kings gave the new ball to a Mumbai local Tushar Deshpande to exploit the early movement. Against Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals used Shardul Thakur for the first over — Shardul had never bowled the first over in an IPL game before that — to look for early wickets with the movement.

Mumbai Indians had Daniel Sams for the powerplay for more or less the same reason. Royal Challengers Bangalore have stuck to David Willey, a powerplay specialist with the ball in this format. KKR brought in Tim Southee for this game to complement Umesh with the new ball.

More than before, teams are banking on specialist bowlers in the powerplay and it could be a strategy worth keeping our eyes on this season, especially on some of the spicy wickets in Maharashtra. Early wickets are more valuable than anything in a format like this and the teams that exploit the powerplay best could well end up in the top bracket of teams.

Have RCB perfected their batting plan?

It might sound odd given the final scoreline, but RCB actually nailed their batting plans on paper in the clash against KKR on Wednesday. They lost three wickets upfront and it would have been rather easy for RCB to use Dinesh Karthik up the order, like what Kolkata Knight Riders did quite a few times in the IPL in the last few years, banking on his experience.

Instead, realising Karthik’s dismal record against spinners who are capable of turning the ball away from him — he has been dismissed nine times in 65 balls to such spinners since 2020 in the IPL — and valuing his impact in the death overs — where his strike-rate is 166.5 in the same period in IPL — RCB held onto Karthik till the end.

Instead, they promoted David Willey and Shahbaz Ahmed up the order to tackle the two mystery spinners. Since 2019 and before today, Sunil Narine has 31 wickets in the IPL, of which only eight are left-handers. To counter the Narine threat, RCB weren’t hesitant to use Sherfane Rutherford alongside Willey and later Shahbaz and the move paid rich dividends as Shahbaz tapped Narine for nine runs in six balls and took on the pace bowlers at a strike rate of 160.

When Karthik came in, there was only one over of Narine to negate and he did that beforecutting loose in the final over to take RCB home.

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