Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich has said that the team should be mindful of the spin-friendly surfaces in Chennai. Talking about RCB's Chennai leg, Simon Katich wants the team to get acclimatised to the conditions quickly.
RCB play their first three games of their IPL 2021 campaign in Chennai, a venue that has historically favoured spinners. Considering RCB's struggles against spin last season, Simon Katich is wary of the rank turners that could be on offer at the Chepauk.
In an interaction with The Times of India, Simon Katich provided a sneak peek of RCB's Chennai gameplan, saying:
"We know it (playing spin) was an area of concern last year, and at times we found it tough, particularly through the middle phase of our batting innings. We are yet to see the surface, but in Chennai, it has historically been a turner. That said, there have been times when it has been high scoring, and the dew can be a factor as well. We will have to weigh all of that once we get a couple of nights of training".
Last season, RCB also struggled to accelerate in the middle overs. They were the only team to score at less than seven (6.93) in the middle overs in IPL 2020, hitting just 73 boundaries during this period in their last campaign.
Simon Katich feels RCB have plugged that hole by making the signing of Glenn Maxwell. The Australian averages 28 and has a strike rate of 160+ in overs 7-15. Simon Katich has backed Maxwell to come good this season, saying in this regard:
“We have a role for Maxwell which will enable him to have success. We needed a dynamic batsman in the middle phase of the innings, and he provides that".
Simon Katich pleased with RCB’s batting depth
RCB have a plethora of batting riches at their disposal. The franchise has players like Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen and Suyash Prabhudesai, three uncapped Indian players with a penchant for power hitting.
One of the trio is touted to play at no. 3, as Virat Kohli will open the innings. That could allow the franchise to play a pinch hitter at the top. Simon Katich revealed how one of the three players could also be an option down the order for RCB.
“A number of players in the camp have put their hands up for selection with the bat. We picked up Rajat Patidar, Mohd Azharrudeen and Suyash (Prabhudessai) in the auction. Sachin Baby also comes in with experience. So, we have options in the top, middle and lower order. We potentially have more batting depth than we had last year,” Simon Katich concluded.
RCB have already been dealt a blow before IPL 2021. With Daniel Sams testing positive for COVID-19, the Australian will miss the first two games of the season.
Virat Kohli and co. will hope they can settle on their playing XI quickly as they look to go all the way this year.