After playing six out of their eight games so far at home, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will now play their next five games away. Their next pitstop is the Ekana Stadium, where RCB will lock horns with Lucknow Super Giants.
RCB have struggled to find any momentum and there are familiar gaps in the squad, and this will put a lot more pressure on the away side.
In this season, Lucknow has not been too kind to the batters. The average run rate this season is 7.50 and this will pose a challenge to the top-heavy RCB batting order. They will need to be far better in the middle overs – both with the bat and ball to challenge the hosts.
Here we look at 3 areas where RCB need to improve in this match against LSG:
#3 Dinesh Karthik conundrum
Dinesh Karthik has had a lean season. He has struggled to hit his stride and has generally struggled to find his timing and momentum against the spinners. This season, he has scored 83 runs in eight matches and is one of the reasons why RCB have struggled.
Anuj Rawat could be another option and he could be the left-hander in the middle order to counter LSG’s leg spinners. He can also be used as a floater and start at the top of the innings if need be. This is one area that the Royal Challengers can certainly look at as one of the possible changes for this match.
#2 More role for the spinners
The Ekana Stadium has been an excellent one for the spinners. This has allowed LSG to play Amit Mishra as the impact player and he has paired up well with Ravi Bishnoi to strangle the opponents. RCB need to take a leaf out of the home team and give a more prominent role to their spinning all-rounders.
Wanindu Hasaranga is their lead spinner and he too has blown hot and cold. As such, Bangalore should be looking to use Shahbaz Ahmed and Glenn Maxwell as two other attacking options in the middle phase of the innings. Maxwell’s role becomes an important one considering LSG have Kyle Mayers and Krunal Pandya in the top order.
#1 Middle order needs to stand up
RCB have suffered from an unbalanced batting order that lacks depth and over-reliance on a select few players. This was evidenced by their dependence on Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, and Ab de Villiers in the past, and presently on Kohli, Faf du Plessis, and Glenn Maxwell.
This has to change if they are to compete and progress in the tournament. The middle order has been absent so far and while there have been few upshots in the recent matches, the likes of Mahipal Lomror and Suyash Prabhudessai have to be more consistent.
Also, Shahbaz Ahmed now has enough experience to be counted as one of the big wickets in the middle order. LSG have a solid spin-bowling attack and these Indian players have to step up and take it upon themselves to get the job done for their side.