The CPL 2020 has sparked some interesting T20 match-ups. Here, we take a look at the key game plans and tactical thinking that could play a role in the CPL 2020 final between Trinbago Knight Riders and St Lucia Zouks (TKR vs SLZ).
CPL 2020 final: Trinbago Knight Riders vs St Lucia Zouks (TKR vs SLZ) Game Plan 1
Zouks need to think out of the box!
In CPL 2020, Trinbago Knight Riders are the best batting side by a country mile. On average, the batsmen of other teams score 17.93 runs per wicket and 6.35 runs per over. On the other hand, TKR batsmen score 33.67 runs per wicket at 7.51 RPO.
But, for the Zouks’ relief, they are the best bowling side in the tournament if the bowling average (17.73) is the benchmark. However, that might not be enough to shut down TKR batsmen. Zouks need to think out of the box; they will need moments of brilliance.
If you look at the way TKR have templatized the way they bat. 7-7.5 an over till the 15th over and then they maximise the final 5 overs, without having the pressure to last 20 overs (for teams that lose early wickets). JAM and SLZ had a similar template with Phillips and Roach
— Kartik Kannan (@kartik_kannan) September 9, 2020
As the above tweet points out, this is the set template of TKR, and the Zouks’ bowlers need to pick quick wickets. They can’t allow the TKR batsmen to settle even if it affects the scoring rate negatively. In the non-death-overs (overs 1-15), TKR batsmen average 33.03 – comfortably the best – and score at a steady pace (6.60 RPO).
The first move of the Zouks’ management should be to bring in Chemar Holder. This is a high-risk high-reward game. The 22-year-old pacer is not a finished product yet. But if he comes good, he can be Zouks’ best bet against some of the TKR batsmen.
ALSO READ: Interview with Chemar Holder
Lendl Simmons is not very secure against high pace. Thus, Holder along with Kuggeleijn can try bouncing him out – something which Fidel Edwards did in the sixth match of this season. The same ploy could also work against Sunil Narine.
The second strategy to get out Simmons could be using Mohammad Nabi in the powerplay. Even though the TKR opener has scored 40 runs off 25 balls – getting out just once – against off-spinners in the powerplay this season, Nabi could be a good match-up against him. In 13th match of this season, Nabi dismissed Simmons in just five balls and conceded only one run. Nabi’s overall T20 record against Simmons is pretty good as well. In T20s, Nabi has dismissed Simmons twice in 19 balls, conceding just 13 runs.
If Colin Munro – who has missed the previous two games – plays, SLZ should target him with off-spinners. Even though Munro has a good record against Nabi – as mentioned in the previous TKRvSLZ game plan – the Afghan spinner could be a good match-up against the southpaw. The same tactic could work against – another southpaw – Darren Bravo.
The main threat for the Zouks is Kieron Pollard, a master of crunch games. Chemar Holder could be potentially Zouks’ best bet against the TKR skipper. 16 of Pollard’s 20 six have come in the ‘V’ region as told in this game plan. Thus, Holder – the tall pacer – could test Pollard with quick short balls. The other (not-so-reliable) plan could be: Kuggeleijn’s hard lengths, however, execution will be the key.
CPL 2020 final: Trinbago Knight Riders vs St Lucia Zouks (TKR vs SLZ) Game Plan 2
Powerplay batting is the key for the Zouks:
The Zouks have got an aggressive opening pair in Rahkeem Cornwall and Mark Deyal. In the powerplay, the Zouks’ batsmen score at 7.02 RPO – the best among all teams. Among players who have scored at least 150 runs in CPL 2020, Cornwall’s strike rate (142.62) is the second-best after Pollard. Deyal’s strike rate – 131.73 – is the second-best for any Zouks’ batsman after Cornwall.
Even though Deyal didn’t start the tournament as an opener, the Zouks observed that they needed to separate the two RHBs (Cornwall & Fletcher) at the top of the order. And, this tactic should serve them well against TKR. Khary Pierre and Akeal Hosein – two left-arm orthodox spinners – bowl in the powerplay. Thus, the promotion of Deyal – a southpaw – should help him in encountering the spin duo. However, Deyal didn’t look at home against Hosein in their previous meeting (a small sample size), and would want to improve that.
In the powerplay, the TKR bowlers average 18 and have an economy rate of 6.09. Only Guyana and Lucia bowlers are marginally better. Thus, the powerplay batting of the Zouks could be a key factor.
CPL 2020 final Trinbago Knight Riders vs St Lucia Zouks (TKR vs SLZ) Game Plan 3
Roston Chase in the middle-overs is quite crucial!
Chase is not a great striker of the ball, however, he adds a decent value in the Zouks batting line-up. Chase is surrounded by attacking batsmen like Cornwall, Deyal, Fletcher, Nabi and Najibullah. And, slow decks in the tournament only boost his value.
In the middle overs (7-15) in CPL 2020, Chase averages 60, and scores at 6.73 RPO – a bit above the average scoring rate (6.29) of the tournament. The right-handed batsman is a good player of spin, however, the challenge is quite big against TKR. TKR have three quality spinners – Fawad Ahmed, Pierre and Hosein – who turn the ball away from right-handers. The effectiveness of the spin trio is bolstered by Narine.
Thus, if Chase comes good, he can allow others to take calculated risks at regular intervals. Taking calculated risks is very important for the Zouks. TKR have a great batting unit, thus, if the Zouks bat first, they need to set a good target.
The usage of Javelle Glen and the Zouks’ issues in the death-overs were discussed in the previous game plan.