Did Simple Mistakes cost Rajasthan the Game?
AB de Villiers validated that RCB screwed up sending him down the order vs Kings XI Punjab as he continued his scintillating form to help RCB win the Royal Derby. However, will Rajasthan get any chance to vindicate themselves after making glaring errors? Let us discuss.
1) It has been 9 games and Rajasthan Royals still hasn’t got a fixed opening pair.
If you need to perform well in the IPL, you need to momentum. You need to win 2-3 games on the trot. That can be done only by having a fixed team where each player knows his position and responsibility. Tampering with your openers even after 9 games clearly shows the team’s lack of plans. RR has tried a variety of combinations consisting of Smith, Buttler, Jaiswal, Uthappa and Stokes and are yet to zero in on one combination. Such mistakes lead to chain to mistakes.
2) Stokes and Buttler interchange roles. Smart?
No. Not smart, especially after both struggled. Stokes is one of the best limited overs finisher and Buttler is a proven T20 opener. To interchange their roles just for the sake of a left-right batting combination is ridiculous. Stokes struggled as an opener and Buttler struggled as a middle order batsman today and had they played in their original positions, RR might have posted a bigger total. Shoutout to Robin Uthappa for a brilliant vintage performance at the top of the order.
3) Steve Smith messes up by bowling Unadkat in the penultimate over of the chase.
When 35 is required off 12 balls, you fancy the bowling team, especially when one over is going to be bowled by Jofra Archer. And there is a saying that your best bowler should bowl the 19th over. However, Steve Smith (either overconfidently or ignorantly) gave Unadkat the 19th over, which was bulldozed by the master AB de Villiers for 3 sixes and 25 runs subsequently. Unatkat is a proven weak link at the death overs and it is high time the RR management decides he should finish his quota of 4 overs much before the death overs, like how CSK is doing with Deepak Chahar. 10 runs was too less for Archer to defend in the last over as RCB romped home.
4) What is the role of Aaron Finch for RCB?
RCB’s batting has been strong for most of the season. Their dependency has shifted from Kohli and de Villiers and now the load has been shared at the top by Padikkal and Finch. Tje reason RCB are posting good totals is because of the solid opening pair. Padikkal used to take advantage of the powerplay while Finch played sheet anchor. But of late, Padikkal has slowed his pace and isn’t fetching quick runs. With Finch doing the same, RCB’s top order is proving to be less useful. Probably Josh Philippe can come in to provide an aggressive start while Padikkal plays the anchor role? This will take the wicket keeping responsibility away from ABD and may give him more liberty and less strain.
Long story short, RCB have cemented their place as a frontrunner in this tournament and RR is on life support, waiting for Red Priestess to resurrect their dying tournament back to life.