IPL 2020: Analyzing RCB's bowling contingent
- The bowling unit looks sharp this season, but will they deliver when the time comes?
Possessing a massive fan-base all over the globe, Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore are one of the most beloved franchises in the league. Across the 12 editions of the IPL, RCB have regularly boasted of some top-notch players, typically batsmen.
That said, the team has consistently found itself guilty of failing despite having a star-studded batting line-up. And the reason behind the team's substandard performances over the previous three seasons in particular is evident.
It's the bowling attack that has let RCB down time and again. To address that, the RCB management seemed to be making conscious efforts to revamp their bowling unit at this year's auction.
Here's a look at the final RCB squad for the 2020 season:
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Yuzvendra Chahal, Parthiv Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Pawan Negi, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Aaron Finch, Joshua Philippe, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Kane Richardson, Dale Steyn, Pavan Deshpande and Shahbaz Ahamad.
Now, let us take a closer look at the bowling attack that RCB have put together:
Strong Indian bowling core
Umesh Yadav, Saini, Chahal, Washington Sundar, Siraj and Pawan Negi.
Quite evidently, RCB possess a competent Indian bowling core with pretty decent variety.
As we had seen in 2018, Umesh Yadav can certainly take wickets and wreak havoc with the new ball in the power-play overs. Given the manner in which the Vidharbha Express has been running in and pitching the ball, and assuming he is utilized appropriately by the management, one can envision good returns from Umesh this season.
Also see – IPL 2020 squad
Navdeep Saini is a fabulous prospect, not merely for RCB but also for Team India. He's raw, young and pacy, and has a lethal yorker as well as a precise bouncer, both really quick.
It will again majorly boil down to the way Kohli utilizes him. That said, one can confidently say Saini does have the requisite ingredients to succeed for his team.
Thrive at the Chinnaswamy - a graveyard for any bowler - requires extraordinary skill. And that is what the 29-year-old Yuzvendra Chahal has demonstrated in ample measure over the years.
Chahal will lead the spin bowling attack for RCB, and he will be accompanied by Washington Sundar, who also is a useful campaigner. Moreover, Mohammed Siraj and Pawan Negi are decent back-up options to have in the squad.
Competent overseas bowling unit
Dale Steyn, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Kane Richardson.
By making some shrewd acquisitions at the auction, RCB now possess a splendid overseas department too - to add to their competent Indian contingent.
Dale Steyn requires no introduction. One of the greatest pacers of all time, Steyn's experience would come in handy during crunch situations. Moreover, his leadership would tremendously benefit the other pacers in the squad.
Steyn is unmatched with the new ball and would form a magnificent duo with Umesh. Also, by adding the slower ball to his arsenal, Steyn has further enhanced his skill-set.
Fortunately for RCB, Steyn has been in brilliant form when fit in recent times. He would want to carry that into the IPL as well.
Though slightly overpriced, Chris Morris is a great purchase by Mike Hesson. A cunning bowler who possesses different variations in his armory, Morris' services would be of great benefit to RCB at the death.
At ₹20 lakh, Isuru Udana is a brilliant acquisition. In addition to being able to bowl well-disguised slower-ones and cutters, Udana can execute the yorker as well. He should definitely be in the XI on slower decks, as should Moeen Ali.
By also acquiring the services of Kane Richardson, who has been in good form of late, RCB have done very well in their bid to cover all the bases.
Thus, Kohli has a pool of amazing players who can deliver in different conditions and match situations. The bowling, which has been a cause of distress for the captain and coach in the past, looks sharp this season.
The team would be hoping that the new bowling attack can help them break the shackles and move on from the disappointments of the previous editions, and finally put their hands on the IPL trophy this year.Published 05 Mar 2020, 18:12 IST