ArticlesIPL 2020

IPL 2020: RCB’s death bowling woes continue

RCB have started off their IPL campaign in fine fashion. Youngster Devdutt Padikkal has lit up the tournament with 3 half-centuries. He is the only batsman to score 3 50s in his first 4 matches. Yuzvendra Chahal has been among the wickets and is well in the running for the purple cap. They are currently 3rd on the table with 3 wins out of 5.

But is it as good as it looks? Let’s find out.

Death Bowling Options

During the last few years, their primary issue has been death bowling, and it remains a problem for them. Apart from a few overs by Shivam Dube and Mohammed Siraj, the main death bowlers for RCB this season have been Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, and Isuru Udana.

Here are their stats. You can find here, how to calculate Economy rate, Bowling Average, and Strike Rate in cricket.

Navdeep Saini519310.0063.3338.00
Isuru Udana312510.5025.2014.40
Dale Steyn27.4211.7390.0046.00
RCB Death Bowling Stats (this season so far)

The stats show how poor RCB’s frontline death bowlers have been this season. Navdeep Saini has often been applauded because of his ability to bowl at 145+ kmph consistently, but he hasn’t been able to pick up wickets. His average of 63.33 is abysmal. This means that he concedes more than 60 runs before taking a wicket. Dale Steyn played the first two games but has replayed by Isuru Udana so that I won’t go too much in detail about the Proteas legend.

Isuru Udana’s inclusion in the playing XI has been a welcome change. He is their 2nd leading wicket-taker behind Yuzvendra Chahal and offers a left-arm option, something Kohli didn’t have at his disposal earlier. While his strike rate is impressive so far, he has been expensive during his three-match stint this season. Moreover, these economy rates of 10 and 11 are for the entire season, which means during the death overs, the runs conceded will be around 15 on a per over basis.

Bad Captaincy

RCB’s most economical bowler this season has been finger spinner Washington Sundar. His economy rate of 4.80 is very commendable, but the flip side of the coin is his lack of wickets. Sundar has been able to pick up only 1 wicket in the first 5 matches, which leaves him donning a strike rate of 90.

While Virat Kohli thinks he can seek out 4 cheap overs at the start of the innings, the opposition batsmen look at it another way. The opposition batsmen know very well that RCB’s death bowling is spineless, and as long as they can reach the 15 over mark without losing a lot of wickets to the spin twins of RCB, they can make up lost ground during the final few overs. Mumbai Indians’ run chase against RCB is a fine example of that.

Another terrible decision by Virat Kohli in that game was making his spinners Chahal and Zampa bowl against Pollard and Pandya during the last quarter of the innings. Both the players from MI are prolific against spin and took the RCB spinners to the cleaners.

Performance Review of RCB

Now let us discuss RCB’s performances this season. RCB have won 3 games (including a super over win) and lost two games. They should have won the match against MI comfortably, but due to their horrific bowling at the death, they ended up scraping a win in the super over.

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Apart from the super over win against MI, RCB has defeated SRH and RR. These teams have 2 of the worst middle orders in the IPL at the moment. Hence, Hyderabad and Rajasthan were unable to exploit the weakness of RCB, which is death bowling. On the other hand, Delhi and Punjab have the likes of Pant, Stoinis, Pooran, and Maxwell in their respective middle orders.

Both these teams scored a lot of runs against RCB during the death overs. RCB, with all the batting quality they possess, faced too much pressure while chasing and ended up losing by 59 and 97 runs against both these teams. They might be 3rd on the table, but it isn’t as good as it looks.

Can they still make the playoffs? Yes, but they will have to stop leaking so many runs. Their net run rate is horrible, and if they are fighting for the 4th spot in the race for the playoffs, they will miss out due to their net run rate.

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