Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) all-rounder Chris Morris is down with a side strain and will not be available for the side's IPL match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Thursday, confirmed RCB Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson.
The South African all-rounder also missed his side’s opening fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday. While his omission raised quite a few eyebrows at the time, Hesson clarified all doubts in a video posted by the franchise on social media. He said:
“Chris Morris unfortunately picked up a slight side strain a few days ago, he would have played a huge role through the middle and death overs, his batting would have had a huge impact as well...This does change the balance of our side, he is a three in one cricketer, he is not easy to replace and as a result, we had to change the structure of our side.”
Chris Morris was picked in the IPL player auction last December for a whopping 10 crores to bridge the gap between a power-packed top order and a fragile tail. Morris was indeed the missing link in the RCB middle-order against SRH.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers’ dismissals exposed the inexperienced trio of Shivam Dube, debutant Josh Philippe and Washington Sundar.
Chris Morris’ absence left a gaping hole in the bowling department as well. Though Umesh Yadav and Dale Steyn went for runs, it was only because the Dubai surface aided the slower bowlers like Yuzvendra Chahal and Shivam Dube that RCB won their opening fixture for the first time since IPL 2016.
Chris Morris might be available for RCB vs MI next Monday
Mike Hesson, however, sounded optimistic that Chris Morris will soon be fit to play while the management continues to nurse him. He said:
“Hopefully, Chris will come into consideration for selection in a game or two, we will continue to monitor him."
RCB will enjoy a three-day break after tomorrow’s encounter before playing defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on September 28. Hopefully, the gap in the schedule proves to be enough for Chris Morris to regain full fitness.Published 23 Sep 2020, 15:34 IST