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IPL 2024: How RCB may address their bowling concerns

IPL 2024: How Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) may address their bowling concerns. Can RCB turn things around with the current bowling unit?

IPL 2024: RCB's bowling concerns, how it can be handled |  Walking Wicket (Images: ©IPL/X)
IPL 2024: RCB's bowling concerns, how it can be handled? (Images: ©IPL/X)

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) have posted one win and one loss in the two matches played so far in IPL 2024. Their batting boasts of a star-studded line-up, but their bowling resources look in short supply. In the first match against Chennai Super Kings, RCB bowlers failed to defend a score of 173, while they did well to restrict Punjab Kings to 176 in their second match before the batters chased it down. 

In the first match against CSK, they went with a bowling combination of three pace bowlers, two spinners, and two part-timers. But they failed to contain the CSK batters on a batting beauty. In the second match against Punjab, RCB went with three medium pacers, one specialist spinner, and two part-timers. In the second game, they had to rely heavily on part-timers Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green to do the job for them. Although RCB bowlers were lucky to put the brake on the Punjab scoreboard on a two-paced wicket, the reality is that RCB have a weak bowling attack as it lacks depth in both pace and spin departments.  

So, how can RCB manage with their limited-bowling resources?

First, let’s take a look at the options available to them.

Pace bowlers

Mohammed Siraj leads the pace bowling attack for RCB. However, Siraj is yet to get into rhythm, and fire on all cylinders. He has Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak, and Yash Dayal for support among India pacers. Among foreign recruits, Alzarri Joseph has been given the first preference, but the West Indian has leaked runs aplenty. The other foreign recruits include Lockie Ferguson and Reece Topley. 

As the first three foreign players – captain Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, and Cameron Green - in the XI look settled, there is only one place for an overseas player. With Joseph failing to make much of an impact, Topley looks favourite to replace him. He brings the left-arm bowling option that adds variety to the pace attack. But Ferguson, with his raw pace, is too good to be ignored.

Among the India pacers, Dayal has done a decent job so far. But as the tournament progresses, Akash Deep, who has had a good domestic season and impressive Test debut recently, could be given the chance to pair up with Siraj. Vyshak may have to wait for his chances unless Dayal or Deep is injured or fails to impress. 

Spin unit

It is the spin department where RCB suffers a lot. They do not have a quality spinner in their squad as they had to let go of a few of them in YS Chahal and Wanindu Hasaranga in the last few seasons. They have Karn Sharma who has warmed the benches for the various franchises he has played more than he has been on the field or among the wickets. 

Mayank Dagar is just 5 IPL matches old now and is yet to step up. Other India spinners in the squad - Himanshu Sharma (leg-break), and Swapnil Singh (left-arm orthodox) - do not inspire much confidence. But, they may get a look in for lack of quality options. In such a case, part-time off-break bowler Glenn Maxwell will have to shore up the spin department although he may leak runs.

IPL 2024, RCB vs PBKS_ Mohammed Siraj took 2-26 against Punjab _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_X)
Mohammed Siraj took 2-26 against Punjab (Images: ©IPL/X)

All-round options or part-time bowlers

Here, the role of Cameron Green as a part-time medium pacer becomes important as he could pitch an over or two to support the front-line pacers if they have an off day or go for runs aplenty. Green already has proven credentials as a batter, and having Green in the line-up adds depth to the batting and bowling unit.

Other part-time foreign recruits such as Will Jacks and Tom Curran will be the key as the season progresses as having a backup ready for Green will hold RCB in good stead during the business end of the tournament. An India all-rounder Suyash Prabhudessai could also get a chance in the XI sooner or later to add depth to both batting and bowling department.

So, what combination RCB may go ahead in upcoming matches?

Siraj is good with the new ball. He gets the ball to swing early. Dayal, who has so far been economical, could give him company with the new ball. Deep will replace Dayal if and when needed. As Joseph has flattered to deceive so far, RCB may put their money on Ferguson who can be used in the powerplay as well as the death overs. Topley, with his left-arm bowling option, could be a great asset too in the death overs as he can bowl away from the hitting arc of the right-hand batters. So, it is a toss-up between Ferguson and Topley, but the latter edges ahead due to his left-arm bowling option.

In the spin department, Karn Sharma may get a few matches as he is the most experienced bowler of the lot, with Dagar for company. But Maxwell will continue to play an important role as the part-time off-break bowler as he has the knack of breaking stands and picking up wickets.

Among other all-rounders, Green faces competition from Jacks and Curran, but the former will keep his place for now. 


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