“He will be the trump card at the backend” - Brad Hogg predicts impressive season for RCB pacer in IPL 2022 

Royal Challengers Bangalore players in a huddle. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Royal Challengers Bangalore players in a huddle. Pic: IPLT20.COM

Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg has predicted that young Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Akash Deep will be the franchise’s trump card with the ball in IPL 2022 as the tournament progresses. According to Hogg, Akash Deep’s ability to generate extra pace and bounce will make a big difference this season.

The 25-year-old pace bowler has played in all of RCB’s five matches so far this year, claiming five wickets at a strike rate of 22.6 and an economy rate of 10.88.

Speaking about the pacer, the former Chinaman bowler said on his YouTube channel:

“Akash Deep, with his extra height and bounce, is going to improve as the tournament goes on. He will be the trump card at the backend with that improvement.”

Admitting that the bowler’s economy is too high at the moment, the 51-year-old asserted that the same will come down as he plays more games and learns with experience. He stated:

“That economy rate of his will come down. I like the way he swings the ball away from the left-handers too. He will be the final tick in the box for RCB.”

Akash Deep had a poor match against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Tuesday. He conceded 58 runs in his four overs without claiming a wicket.

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“He’s been dynamic” - Brad Hogg on RCB leggie Wanindu Hasaranga

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Hogg has also been highly impressed with leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. The Aussie pointed out that the Sri Lankan adds a lot of versatility to the RCB attack since he can bowl at any point in a match. Hogg explained:

“You’ve got Hasaranga there with his leg spin. He is able to bowl in the powerplay and in the middle overs. He’s been dynamic. We haven’t seen him do much with the bat yet. He can wield the willow. Harshal Patel with his slower balls has been very good.”

The match against CSK saw Josh Hazlewood make his debut for Bangalore. The Australian pacer did a decent job, returning with figures of one for 33. However, Hogg believes that David Willey, whom Hazlewood replaced on Tuesday, adds more value to the side. He opined:

“They have Hazlewood, but I think Willey adds better variety to their depth. Hazlewood is a better bowler but they have got enough right-handed bowlers in there, as it is. Left-arm over the wicket with the new ball, Willey swinging it both ways is creating a lot of chances. Also, with his power-hitting, he is a perfect fit.”

Having gone down against CSK, Bangalore will look to return to winning ways when they take on the Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 16, according to the IPL schedule.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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