The thirty-first match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, could all be about match-ups. Here, we take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the thirty-first game of IPL 2020 – RCB vs KXIP.
RCB vs KXIP – The daunting RCB batting line-up
RCB, in IPL 2020, seem to be following the TKR-model of CPL 2020. What is the TKR model? TKR, in CPL 2020, played safe in the first 15 overs and then cashed in during the last five overs. The decks were slow in CPL 2020, however, RCB have been following the same method (not perfectly though) in the first-half itself.
In the first 15 overs of an innings this season, the RCB batsmen score at 6.85 RPO – the lowest in the league currently. And, in the last five overs, their RPO (11.11) is the second-best after Mumbai Indians’ 11.66 RPO.
One of the reasons why RCB would have planned so could be the lack of reliability in the middle-order. Also, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli are excellent in the death overs, so that helps as well.
In innings in which ABD batted has got a chance to bat in the death overs (17-20) for RCB since 2011, he faces 8.94 balls on average and scored 21.16 runs.
For Kohli: 9.3 balls and 20.38 runs. #Freaks
— TUSHAR 🏏 (@mainlycricket) October 13, 2020
However, they can fix it a bit by asking Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch to take calculative risks against spinners in the middle-overs, if they do make it past the powerplay, especially in overs 7-12. In overs 7-12, their batsmen score at 6 RPO, again the worst among all teams. Devdutt is a good player of spin while Finch is quite powerful. Or, they can bring in Moeen Ali for Isuru Udana.
What this tells us is that KXIP need to be aggressive with the ball in the first half of the innings. Because against two beasts – ABD and Kohli – in the death overs, they hardly stand a chance. In the last five overs of an innings this season, the economy of KXIP bowlers is 13.23. Their economy is two more runs per overs as compared to SRH who are the second-worst side in this phase.
However, KXIP’s troubles are aided due to Sheldon Cottrell’s injury, and he is expected to miss this game as KL Rahul told during the toss in the previous game. Cottrell, the left-arm seamer, is an attacking bowler with the new ball and finds the swing as well. So, their options are Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh.
Arshdeep Singh, in the powerplay in the previous game, bowled 12 balls and conceded just two runs and induced five false shots (excluding misses). The left-arm pacer can swing the ball. His inswingers can trouble Finch who is susceptible to such bowling as mentioned many times in the previous game plans. Against Devdutt, he might bowl from round the wicket and angle the ball away from him. Kohli, though, good enough, is not at his best against left-arm pacers early in the innings.
Shami can trouble Finch with his nip-backers and inswinging balls as well. Against Devdutt, he should try bowling short of the length balls from over the wicket. Bowling 43 short-balls in the powerplay this season, the Indian fast-bowler has picked up two wickets. He has an economy of 6.70 and induced 19 false shots while bowling such balls.
After the powerplay, KXIP will rely on Ravi Bishnoi who is pretty aggressive as well. In the middle-overs (7-16) this season, Bishnoi has picked up seven wickets with an economy of 7.49. Bishnoi bowls a lot of googlies and he could be effective against RCB. Against left-handed batsmen with googlies, the leg-spinner has scalped four wickets and has an average of 7.50. So, the RCB southpaws – Devdutt, Sundar and Dube – will find it hard against Bishnoi.
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Finch, Kohli and AB de Villiers are also not very secure against googlies. This can also tempt KXIP to pick up Murugan Ashwin in their playing XI as they did in the previous meeting against the Red Army. Bishnoi and Murugan combined to pick up six wickets in that match.
The key for KXIP is to be aggressive with the ball in the first half to give themselves the best chance against an in-form RCB team in this RCB vs KXIP mid-season fixture.