The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to get underway with a blockbuster clash between the defending champions Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The two teams will lock horns at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
RCB finished 4th last year after being knocked out by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator and their fans will be keen to see the side kick start this year's campaign with a win.
The MI skipper Rohit Sharma has been in red-hot form and is arguably the most important batsman in their side. Moreover, Rohit has a prolific record against the Challengers, having scored 697 runs from 26 innings. If RCB are to obtain a positive result in tomorrow's clash, it's imperative that they dismiss Rohit Sharma early.
Here are three tactics RCB can employ to dismiss Rohit Sharma early on in the innings.
3) Outswingers outside Rohit Sharma's off-stump
While there is no doubt that Rohit Sharma is a class player, he tends to struggle with his footwork early on in his innings. The 33-year old has been prone to poke at deliveries away from his body and ends up getting dismissed either caught behind or at slip.
With that in mind, the RCB pacers can look to bowl outswingers on a good length outside off stump with a couple of slips in place. With high-quality bowlers in their ranks such as Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini and Mohammad Siraj, execution should not be a problem for RCB.
2) A combination of attacking and defensive spin bowling
The pitches at the MA Chidambaram Stadium have historically favoured spinners and have a reputation for being slow. RCB have got two top-quality spinners in Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal, who are almost guaranteed to make the playing XI.
However, the two could not be more different with respect to their style of bowling. While Sundar tends to keep the runs in check by bowling miserly spells, Chahal is RCB's main strike bowler.
It may sound a little out of the ordinary, but RCB can open the bowling with Sundar and Chahal. While Sundar keeps the runs down at one end with defensive bowling, Chahal can bowl attacking lines at the other. With the runs drying up and threats being created, the batsmen will be forced to look for scoring options and that is a situation in which Chahal excels.
1) Disguised slower balls
In the recently concluded T20I series between India and England, Rohit Sharma was foxed and dismissed by slower balls in 2 of the 3 innings he played. It could have well been 3 out of 3 had Jofra Archer held onto a simple return catch.
RCB will certainly have identified this particular chink in Rohit's armour and will look to exploit it.
How many runs do you think Rohit Sharma will score in this encounter? Let us know in the comments below