“Faf Du Plessis At No. 3, Drop…”: India Great Suggests Huge Changes In RCB Playing XI

Former Indian cricket team batter Krishnamachari Srikkanth suggested massive changes to the Royal Challengers Bangalore playing XI in the IPL 2024 after their loss to Kolkata Knight Riders. During a discussion on Star Sports, Srikkanth said that Will Jacks should be given 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 drop Alzarri Joseph as well as Rajat Patidar and include an Indian fast bowler like Akash Deep.

“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 opening. Faf du Plessis at No. 3, Cameron Green at 4, Glenn Maxwell, and then you drop Alzarri Joseph, drop Patidar and play an Indian fast bowler – Akash Deep,” Srikkanth said on Star Sports.

“Then what happens is that you have good balance with both bat and ball. Otherwise, you will be struggling while bowling. Yesterday I was surprised that RCB did not bowl a single bouncer to the throat. Come on, you let Sunil Narine score a fifty (47 off 22 balls),” Srikkanth added.

Three matches might be too small a sample size to form an opinion but going by the lack of variety that has been on show in Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s bowling attack, they might just be staring at a long, tiring IPL season this year.

The match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday offered the latest and the largest footprint of this particular weakness as the RCB bowlers failed to check a set of free-hitting batters while defending 183.

The immediate defence will be to project the presence of dew and an improved M Chinnaswamy pitch during the second innings. But a deep dive will give a different picture.

Defending a total, even a competitive one like 183, demands a tight beginning, however, the RCB bowlers were profligate.

Mohammed Siraj‘s length ball was walloped over mid-wicket for a six by Phil Salt, and the Englishman was served with two more juicy offerings on the fifth stump which were carted for a six and four each. The first over produced 18 runs.

Alzarri Joseph was introduced in the third over. But the pacer gave Sunil Narine a length ball on leg-stump which was dispatched for a six over long-on and two balls later a short-pitched 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 is easy pitch or tough pitch.

There was an exception in Vysakh Vijayakumar who used knuckle balls and pace-off deliveries to good effect to return with excellent figures of 1/23, but the more experienced names were reluctant to bring in those variations – at least consistently.

“The second innings was slightly better to bat because the ball came on to the bat a bit quicker because of the dew. I was trying to use hard-length balls and short balls banged into the pitch to contain batters,” Vijaykumar said in the post-match press conference.

“But it was still gripping from both the ends. We did try to mix it up but they (KKR batters) got away with it.” There’s some truth in his words. The stats show that KKR bowlers used 22 balls under 120 kmph and conceded just 20 runs off them to pick up three wickets.

Meanwhile, the RCB bowlers bowled 19 balls under 120 kmph, but gave away 40 runs and could bag only a wicket.

(With PTI inputs)

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