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IPL 2024: RCB haven’t been able to fill spin-bowling void, which makes them predictable, says Sidhu

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IPL 2024: RCB haven’t been able to fill spin-bowling void, which makes them predictable, says SidhuApril 1, 2024New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) It is early days in IPL 2024, and the all too familiar question marks over Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s bowling make-up have made an entry yet again. In three games, they have lost twice while defending, including in their last home game against Kolkata Knight Riders, where pyrotechnics from Sunil Narine and Phil Salt set up a win for the visitors’.In that game, left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar and right-arm pacer Vijaykumar Vyshak returned with combined figures of 2/46 from 6.5 overs at an economy rate of 6.73. The rest of RCB’s bowling line-up were taken to cleaners, returning with figures of 1/133 in 10 overs at an economy rate of 13.3, implying that they seriously lack in bowling variety.Alzarri Jospeh hasn’t got the impact which one would have wished for, with Reece Topley and Lockie Ferguson waiting in the wings. Navjot Singh Sidhu, the former India cricketer who’s an IPL 2024 expert with Star Sports, believes RCB’s inability to fill the spin-bowling gap has added to their bowling line-up being tad predictable.“The biggest thing needed in the winning of a team is that they are not dependent on just one individual to achieve victory. The five fingers of a hand vary in size – short, long, curvy and fat. But when all of them come together to work in unison, they can lift the weight which is 100 times more than what they can carry. That is what it is – the team combination wins you a cricket match.”“When you are walking a tightrope, you have the stick in hand and if the balance goes away, then a human falls off it. We do talk about Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis, but you got to saddle the right horse. The chain is as strong as the weakest link, and their weakness lies in the spin department. Their spinners are just not there, and honestly speaking, a bird can fly with two wings. It takes two to tango, and if one is a one-wing bird, then it can’t fly, like when you are a Kiwi bird or imagination resembles of an ostrich – it’s a bird who can run, but not fly.”“So, therefore they will have to replenish that area, as if you are playing in India, you have to get a quality spinner. Like, RCB had (Wanindu) Hasaranga, who was pretty good and even before him, there was Yuzvendra Chahal. But they let them go and that has created a void in their bowling line-up.”“RCB haven’t been able to fill that void, which makes them predictable. Now look at (MS) Dhoni – when he comes, no one knows his plan. But when you look at RCB’s bowling, they are so predictable. They will field four fast-bowlers and don’t have a quality spinner. You can’t take flight with a bird which has just one wing,” said Sidhu to an IANS reply in the latest episode of ‘Star Sports Press Room’ show, ahead of RCB facing Lucknow Super Giants on Tuesday.On Wednesday, KKR will take on Delhi Capitals at Visakhapatnam and a lot of curious eyes will be on how the opening duo of Sunil Narine and Phil Salt fares at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. While Narine sizzled with 47, Salt smashed 30 as the duo put on 86 runs for the first wicket in just 39 deliveries against RCB at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium last week.England’s fast bowling legend Stuart Broad thinks KKR need to have a proper batter at the top of the order instead of a pinch-hitting opener in Narine if they are to win matches consistently.“KKR struggled with their opening pairing in IPL last year and if Sunil Narine is the answer to it is on everyone’s lips. He struggled for runs for quite some period, as he’s cast as a pinch hitter at the top of the order.”“My belief is that you look at a lot of past champions, not just in IPL, but also in T20 trophies around the world, generally have top-class batters in your top three win you tournaments. I don’t see Narine as someone who can bring in a lot of consistency to the top of the order for KKR.”“I would be leaning towards getting a full-time top three batter up there, who could get you 80 off 40 more consistently. Narine might do it once in the tournament, but if you are to win the competition, you need your opening batters consistently doing that four or five times.”“I am not a huge fan of the pinch-hitting role against high-quality bowling, although it did come off at the Chinnaswamy Stadium the other night, which was due to the bowling style, rather than his high-quality striking,” he said in reply to an IANS query.For Gujarat Titans, veteran fast-bowler Mohit Sharma has been a standout player, especially in the back-end of the innings, seen from his brilliant 3-25 in the seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on a two-paced black soil pitch.In overs 17-20 for GT since joining them in the IPL, Mohit has picked 17 wickets at an economy rate of 8.13, including 41 dot balls. Broad thinks Mohit being a formidable force at the fag end of the innings with GT is down to his experience and reading the situations very well to use his repertoire of deliveries.“He’s an experienced bowler who knows his game and can bowl the yorker as well as the wide yorkers. He’s also got good length balls and more crucially, gets the lengths right. He doesn’t overpitch his slower balls and isn’t allowing the batter to step out and hit.”“He bowls that length which the batters’ can’t quite reach out to and hit it straight up in the sky. I also think he’s bowling for a franchise where they have Rashid Khan in the middle-overs, who can take wickets just before the death overs period. Quite often, he’s bowling at batters who are not 60 or 70 not out, instead he bowls at the new batters coming in.”“So, it’s pretty crucial, but its his experience at 35 years old through playing a lot of IPL cricket in the last 11 years is probably telling now in his good showing. He’s got good knowledge of the game and can read situations really well – that’s been his biggest upkeep in form along with the experience he brings in,” he concluded.–IANSnr/https://ians.in/detail/ipl-2024-rcb-havent-been-able-to-fill-spin-bowling-void-which-makes-them-predictable-says-sidhu–20240401214310/

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