The tenth match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, could all be about match-ups. Here, we take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the tenth game of IPL 2020 –RCB vs MI.
RCB vs MI – RCB’s death challenge
The cliche ‘RCB and their death-overs woes’ was back in their previous game, wasn’t it? You have to call RCB unlucky as Chris Morris, their best death bowler is injured. RCB did well to recruit him, however, a side strain forced him to miss the first two games. Morris is unlikely to play this match as well. So, RCB need to get his replacement right.
— Stat Doctor🩺 (@stat_doctor) September 15, 2020
RCB started with Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav – two good new-ball bowlers – in the playing XI. However, their below-par performances in the powerplay meant that Virat Kohli used Navdeep Saini in the powerplay. He has bowled four overs in the powerplay. For RCB, Saini is needed in the middle and death overs.
In the first game, it was understandable as RCB were defending a chaseable target. Jonny Bairstow is not very secure against express pace, thus, that decision was a fair call then. But, if Steyn and Umesh had struck in the powerplay in the second match – vs KXIP – RCB would have been better served.
RCB need to drop Steyn who looks completely out of sorts. Steyn is occupying an overseas spot which doesn’t look good. The same is the story with Umesh, however, RCB might persist with him or bring in Mohammed Siraj.
RCB vs MI – Zampa for Steyn?
Adam Zampa could replace Dale Steyn. In an ideal world, a pacer would be replaced by a pacer. However, here, the difference between the quality of the two bowlers is too much to ignore. The improved Australian leg-spinner is very good on subcontinental pitches.
Mumbai Indians’ batsmen are also quite poor against leg-spinners, thus, the addition of Zampa should only help them. By partnering Zampa with Chahal, RCB could do a lot better. Rohit, de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav have clear issues against leg-spinners. By the looks of it, Saurabh Tiwary also doesn’t look very great as well. Chahal, who seems to have worked on his googly, should only increase his trouble.
RCB vs MI – MI batters vs leg-spin
Kieron Pollard is a good player of traditional leg-spin, however, Chahal and Zampa can bowl at high speeds and mix it up with googlies. The same is the case with Hardik Pandya. Even though his overall numbers against leg-spin are not very good, his stocks fall a lot if we remove Piyush Chawla. Since 2017 in the IPL against leg-spinners excluding Chawla, Pandya’s strike rate is 97.
The Mumbai Indian’s batsmen don’t have a great head-to-head record against the spin duo in recent times. Pollard and Chahal have met each other in five T20 innings since 2017 and Chahal has got him out on four instances. Even though Rohit has got out just once against Chahal, his strike rate in T20 cricket against Chahal is about 94. Chahal has a fantastic record against de Kock in T20s as well as ODIs. In his previous two meetings against Suryakumar Yadav, he has got out the right-hander on both occasions.
Against Zampa, Rohit has got out in both T20 matches in which he has faced the leggie. And, in even the last four ODIs, the leg-spinner has picked his wicket thrice.
As mentioned in this game plan, Chahal needs to bowl on the good-length against right-handers and mix up the leg-breaks with googlies, the Indian leg-spinner has done that very well. Out of 48 balls in the IPL 2020, Chahal has bowled 31 balls on the good-length and is yet to bowl a short ball. Zampa -if plays – needs to do exactly the same.
If others do their job well, Kohli can utilise Saini well and exploit his match-ups well. Saini could work well against the trio of Pollard and Pandya brothers. Since 2017 in the IPL, Pollard a strike rate of under 100 against right-arm fast-bowlers excluding medium-pacers. In his two T20 meetings against Pollard, the speedster has got him out on both occasions.
Krunal Pandya’s issues against express pace and short ball continue to become more evident with time. Hardik Pandya is not so easy to get out. He has improved his game in every aspect, especially against express pace, however, against high-quality fast-bowling, his improved game is not at the elite level and so Saini might trouble him.
Whilst the other two batters Pollard and Krunal could be well targeted by short balls and hard lengths, Saini needs to execute his plans very well against Hardik to have a chance.