RR vs KKR – The 12th match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the teams, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, could all be about match-ups. We take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the RR vs KKR IPL fixture.
Jofra Archer is furiously fast and his success across the globe has been partly driven by that aspect of his bowling. However, Archer in IPL 2020 has approached his bowling completely differently.
14 of his 48 balls, that’s more than 25%, have been slower balls bowled at less than 125kmph. The method hasn’t worked with the England pacer conceding runs at 12 runs per over.
In contrast, when bowling over 140kmph, Archer has given runs away at a rate of just 7.76 runs per over. The composition of the Rajasthan pace attack is such that Archer is such a key figure in their bowling plans. They need him in the powerplay and in the death overs.
While the focus on slower balls itself is bizarre, Archer has also constantly been short or back of a length, never once bowling the yorker in any of his 48 balls this year in the IPL.
Against KKR, though, the plan could work against the famed middle-order trio – Russell, Karthik and Morgan. Karthik made a resounding 97 the last time these two sides met and what the wicket-keeper did primarily against Archer was go deep in his crease to counter the bouncer or the yorker.
Archer is better suited to bowl at Rana, Russell and Morgan, all of whom aren’t too comfortable with disconcerting bounce. Oshane Thomas was used by Rajasthan in the fixture list time against KKR to counter their batsmen and Thomas removed Russell with this plan.
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There’s a case for Rajasthan to play Thomas again in tandem with Archer. But coming to Archer himself, the England pacer will be required to not allow the free swing in the ‘V’ or the slog to both Russell and Morgan. Taking pace off the ball is also a risky move and as his numbers itself prove, Archer is better off bowling with good pace.