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IPL 2024: Weak areas of RCB's bowling attack this season

IPL 2024: What's the problem with Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)'s bowling this season? RCB bowling analysis in Powerplay, middle and death overs.


IPL 2024: Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) pain points in bowling unit this season Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) haven't defended any total this season (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) are currently placed last in the points table, having won just one game out of seven in IPL 2024. Their mediocre show so far can be attributed to their poor bowling attack which has failed to take up wickets and conceded runs aplenty. RCB have a genuine bowling problem that they need to sort out before it is too late to make a comeback in the tournament. 


Let’s first take a look at where RCB bowlers have erred in the tournament so far. (Sample size of last four RCB’s matches)


Overs

vs SRH


vs MI


vs RR


vs LSG



Runs conceded/RR

Wkts

Runs conceded/RR

Wkts

Runs conceded/RR

Wkts

Runs conceded/RR

Wkts

1 to 6

76/12.67

0

72/12.00

0

54/9.00

1

54/9.00

1

7 to 15

129/14.33

2

116/12.89

3

98/10.89

1

77/8.50

2

16 to 20

82/16.40

1

11/22.00 (3 balls)

0

37/9.02 (25 balls)

1

50/10.00

2


Taking a sample size of RCB’s last 4 matches, it is clear that their bowlers have struggled to pick up wickets in the powerplay while conceding a lot of runs. In 24 overs of powerplay in the last 4 games, RCB have picked up just 2 wickets while giving away over 10 runs per over. Each wicket has cost them 128 runs in the powerplay.


It proves RCB’s new-ball bowlers have struggled to make early inroads and are unable to stop the opposition from making a great start. Due to RCB’s inability to pick up early wickets, the opposition team seized the momentum and capitalised in the middle-overs. RCB have conceded more than 10 runs per over in 3 matches, and more than 8 runs per over in the fourth game during the middle-overs, while picking up just 8 wickets. 


Overall, they have done a better job during middle-overs in picking up wickets compared to powerplay. But it has not slowed down their opposition, who have scored 420 runs in 36 overs at 11.67 runs per over during that phase. Each wicket has cost RCB 52.5 runs in the middle overs, implying the opposition has lost wickets, but continued smacking the RCB bowling attack at 12 runs per over.


And in the death, RCB bowlers hardly had runs to defend or just didn’t have enough bite to stop the opposition from finishing off the innings in a flourish. While defending in the death in the two games, RCB have conceded 10.43 runs per over for 1 wicket. And while fielding first, they conceded 16.40 and 10 runs per over in the death.


Overall, there have not been any phases where RCB have managed to stop the flow of runs, while they have struggled to pick up wickets.



What problem ails them in powerplay?

Mohammed Siraj, who was the main strike bowler for RCB in the previous seasons, has been off-colour so far. His inability to strike early and make early inroads has been hurting RCB. The two wickets in powerplay have gone to Reece Topley and part-timer Glenn Maxwell. 


Other than Siraj, RCB used Yash Dayal in the powerplay, but he leaked runs as well. Topley has been inconsistent, bordering from excellent to mediocre. Lockie Ferguson who also bowled in the powerplay against SRH was not spared either. It has forced RCB to try part-timers such as Maxwell and Will Jacks who have done a better job than pacers during this phase. 


Jacks conceded 11 runs in his 2 overs against Hyderabad in the powerplay, while Maxwell conceded 12 runs in two overs for 1 wicket against Lucknow. If part-timers do well as compared to main strike bowlers in powerplay, it proves something is wrong in the RCB bowling unit. 


In the four matches, the only time RCB gave the ball to a regular spinner (Mayank Dagar) in powerplay, the bowler went for 20 runs against Rajasthan.



IPL 2024, RCB vs PBKS_ Mohammed Siraj took 2-26 against Punjab _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_X)
Mohammed Siraj averages 57.25 with the ball this season (Images: ©IPL/X)
Middle-overs

In the middle overs, the front-line pacers have leaked runs, but even the frontline spinners have gone for aplenty. Spinners Dagar, Himanshu Sharma, and even part-times Maxwell, Jacks, Cameron Green, and Mahipal Lomror have not been spared either. This has hurt RCB the most as spinners have not been able to slow down the match by bowling dots with tight line and length, and putting pressure on the opposition batters. This has made it easy for opposition batters to bat RCB out of the game. A lack of a quality spinner in their squad has hurt them the most. 


Death overs

The death overs have been a nightmare for the RCB bowlers when fielding first as opposition batters have just continued the momentum to finish off the innings with a flourish. Meanwhile, during chases, the runs to defend in the death overs have not been enough to trouble the opposition. Mumbai didn’t even keep the game till the end, finishing off a chase of 197 within 15.3 overs. 


What RCB are missing?

RCB are missing a strike bowler in the powerplay that can put the opposition on the back foot with quick wickets. They are also lacking a quality spinner who can put pressure during the middle overs to stop the opposition from running away with the game even before the death overs start. They also need to find the right combination of bowlers who can add teeth to the bowling attack. At the moment, the constant chopping and changing has done more harm than good to the already hammered bowling unit.


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