“Faf Du Plessis At No.3, Drop…”: India Great suggests huge changes in RCB playing XI

"Faf Du Plessis At No. 3, forget it.": India Great suggests huge changes in RCB playing XI

RCB players in action during IPL 2024©AFP

Former Indian cricket team batsman Krishnamahari Srikkanth has suggested massive changes to the Royal Challengers Bangalore playing XI in the IPL 2024 after their defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders. During a discussion on Star Sports, Srikkanth said that Will Jacks should have a chance as an opener with Virat Kohli while Faf du Plessis should come out to play at No. 3. He also suggested that RCB should give up Alzarri Joseph as well as Rajat Patidar and include an Indian fast bowler like Deep Akash.

“Will Jacks is a brilliant off-spinner, I think we can push him for 2 overs. The line-up according to me should be, if I was the captain. Will Jacks, Virat Kohli at opener. Faf du Plessis at n °3, Cameron Green at 4 o’clock, Glenn Maxwellthen you drop Alzarri Joseph, drop Patidar and play an Indian fast bowler – Akash Deep,” Srikkanth said on Star Sports.

“Then what happens is you have good balance with bat and ball. Otherwise you will struggle to bowl. Yesterday I was surprised that RCB didn’t bowl a only bouncer at the throat. Come on, you let Sunil Narine score a fifty (47 off 22 balls),” Srikkanth added.

Three games is perhaps too small a sample size to form an opinion, but given the lack of variety that has been on display in Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s bowling attack, they could well be facing a long and tiring IPL season This year.

The match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday offered the latest and greatest imprint of this particular weakness, with RCB’s bowlers failing to control a set of free-hitters while defending 183.

The immediate defense will be to project the presence of dew and an improved M Chinnaswamy pitch in the second innings. But a deeper analysis will give a different picture.

Defending a total, even a competitive one like 183, requires a tight start, however, RCB’s bowlers were spendthrift.

Mohammed SirajThe length ball was hit to mid-wicket for a six par Phil Salt, and the Englishman received two more juicy offerings on the fifth stump, which were carried for six and four each. The former produced 18 runs.

Alzarri Joseph was introduced at third. But the pacer gave Sunil Narine a long ball on leg stump which was sent for a six over long on and two balls later a short delivery was sent in the same direction for a maximum.

These are the balls that will be punished at this level – dew or no dew, whether it’s an easy pitch or a hard pitch.

There was an exception in Vysakh Vijayakumar who used punch balls and quick deliveries to good effect to return with excellent figures of 1/23, but the more experienced names were reluctant to introduce these variations – at least coherently.

“The second inning was slightly better hitting because the ball was coming to the bat a little quicker due to the dew. I was trying to use hard balls and short balls hit down the field to contain the hitters,” said said Vijaykumar in the post-match press conference.

“But it was still exciting from both sides. We tried to mix things up, but they (KKR’s batters) managed it.” There is some truth in his words. Statistics show that KKR bowlers used 22 balls under 120 kmph and conceded only 20 runs to pick up three wickets.

Meanwhile, RCB bowlers bowled 19 balls at less than 120 kmph but gave away 40 runs and could only take one wicket.

(With PTI inputs)

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