The 33rd match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, could all be about match-ups. We take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the 33rd game of IPL 2020 – RR vs RCB.
RR vs RCB: Should Kohli be back to opening the innings?
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s batting has always been a stand-out feature for the team over several seasons now. Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have always been the cornerstones for the batting unit while there have been other useful performers. This season, the young Devdutt Padikkal started the season with three fifties to give RCB’s batting unit a very strong look.
However, the youngster hasn’t been able to convert his starts in the last four games while Aaron Finch has gone through a barren run this season except for a fifty against Mumbai Indians. Although Shivam Dube, Chris Morris and Isuru Udana offer some solid hitting during the final few overs, the middle-order has always looked a bit thin.
One solution to solve this could be the decision to bring in Moeen Ali for Aaron Finch. Ali can also provide quality off-spin on the tired Dubai track. If Kohli insists on giving a long rope to Finch, he can be slotted in at No.4 or 5. This will allow Kohli to open the batting while RCB could also avoid throwing Finch to a wolf in the form of Jofra Archer.
Kohli has a sensational record as an opener in the IPL and that should be the catalyst to make this move. Kohli is a kind of a batsman who could really utilize the Powerplay and settle in before going big during the final few overs. In this season, the RCB skipper has been found wanting of not accelerating at the right time. Even in the last game against KXIP at Sharjah, Kohli only came up with 48 off 39 balls.
RCB as a team have also been extremely poor during the middle-overs. The batsmen have struggled to rotate strike against the spinners while the pacers have got a lot of success during this period. Even the intent during the Powerplay can be questioned as Aaron Finch was quite scratchy in the last few matches.
RR vs RCB: Finch can move down the order
Finch might have got out to spin quite a few times this season but he is a much improved batsman against spin bowling than previous years. His record in the middle-order is also pretty over a decent sample size in the IPL. So, this might be just worth the gamble.
In the last game against KXIP, RCB’s decision to hold back AB de Villiers from facing the two leg-spinners, Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi received a lot of criticism as Mr.360 came to bat pretty late in the innings and suffered a failure. If Finch is pushed down the order and AB de Villiers bats at No.3, the problem of facing less deliveries could be solved. It is true that both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers don’t have a good record against Shreyas Gopal but the RR leg-spinner has looked out of sorts so far.
de Villiers has been the most prolific RCB batsmen during the death overs in this IPL (Kohli has a better strike-rate) but that should not be deterrent to pigeon hole a world-class batsman like him to a certain phase.
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