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IPL 2021: Is Kyle Jamieson the answer to RCB's perennial death bowling woes?

Kyle Jamieson will be RCB
Kyle Jamieson will be RCB's key death overs specialist
ANALYST
Modified 06 Apr 2021
Feature

All eyes will be on Kyle Jamieson as RCB gear up for their IPL 2021 opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians at Chennai on April 9 (Friday).

The Kiwi pacer has been the subject of intense debate amongst fans ahead of the mega event. After all, Kyle Jamieson is an unknown commodity in the tournament and RCB have splurged heavily on a man who's never played in the league before.

There are numerous questions around Jamieson's capabilities and whether he's the answer to RCB's well-documented death bowling woes. To add to the scrutiny, after being picked up for a whopping INR 15 Crore during this year's auction, the 26-year-old had a forgettable series against Australia earlier this year.

It was a poor run as Kyle Jamieson conceded 175 runs from the 15 overs he bowled in four matches. The economy was an alarming 11.6 and RCB fans did not miss the fact that he picked up just one wicket.

Nonetheless, the franchise's biggest buy in the IPL 2021 auction was backed firmly by Mike Hesson, the director of RCB's cricket operations.

"It wasn't a bad thing," Hesson said, talking to Sky Sports NZ after the third game. "He's struggled, probably for the first time in international cricket really, which I don't think is a bad thing."
"He [Kyle Jamieson] battled to find his lengths. When you're put under pressure, that can happen. And pressure not only from the opposition but also the weight of expectations. For Kyle, I don't think it's a bad thing," Hesson opined.

While Hesson maintains that RCB are not worried about Kyle Jamieson's dip in form, the Virat Kohli-led outfit will be wary of the death bowling woes that have cost them dearly over the last few seasons of the IPL.

RP Singh, Ravi Rampaul, Jaydev Unadkat, Mitchell Starc, Ashok Dinda, Sean Abbott, Adam Milne, Kane Richardson and Tymal Mills have all come and gone since 2014. None of them proved to be RCB's specialist bowler who could deliver for them at the death.

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An argument can be made for RCB to go with the pacy and impressive Navdeep Saini as their go-to bowler in the all-important penultimate over. However, what the side desperately need is an option for Virat Kohli to throw the ball to without a second thought.

Can Kyle Jamieson be the death overs specialist for RCB?

Kyle Jamieson
Kyle Jamieson's T20I stats might not be stellar, but RCB are hoping he can deliver

Kyle Jamieson will be one of the foreign imports to play the first few games just to get a feel of the subcontinent conditions. Most teams in the IPL tend to take the first few games to finalise a consistent playing XI and that's Jamieson's chance to prove he's worth the price tag.

The lanky pacer's T20I stats for the national side might not be stellar. Having played eight games in his career, he's picked up four wickets at an economy of 9.80. But it was the six-for-seven in the 2019 Super Smash that turned heads.

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At 6'8", Kyle Jamieson has the ability to generate awkward bounce and has a sneaky fuller delivery that he may look to put to good use. The pitch in Chennai has had its fair share of controversy in recent times.

Despite the IPL 2019 debate that raged about the "slowness" of the pitch, there's something there for the seamers and the onus is on Kyle Jamieson to see what he can extract from it.

In a team known for its star batsmen, Jamieson comes in as a new weapon who's yet to be tested on the field. RCB's hopes of winning the elusive trophy hinge heavily on their inconsistent bowling department and the management are hoping that Kyle Jamieson can prove to be the team's trump card.

Published 06 Apr 2021, 15:39 IST
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