IPL 2019: Match 14, RR vs RCB – Tactics that got rewards for the Rajasthan Royals

IPL 2019: Match 14, RR vs RCB – Tactics that got rewards for the Rajasthan Royals

Shreyas Gopal finished with the figures of 3/12 from his four overs against RCB.

Shreyas Gopal
Shreyas Gopal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rajasthan Royals lost each of their first three matches but they were in the driver’s seat at some point in all those three games. They faced the Royal Challengers Bangalore who also lost their first three matches, albeit by big margins. To gain the upper hand over the visitors, the Rajasthan team needed to execute their plans against the deadly duo of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. The duo collectively scored only 36 runs as RCB finished with 158/4, a total which wasn’t enough to defend.

The plans that were needed:

On what looked like a dry wicket underneath the grass covering, the Rajasthan Royals decided to introduce spinners early on. Krishnappa Gowtham bowled the usual first over with the left-hander Parthiv Patel at the crease. At the end of the powerplay, the leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal was introduced who had a good record against both Kohli and De Villiers.

The Karnataka spinner dismissed the duo in the 2018 season game played in Bangalore. He went further to claim De Villiers wicket during the game played in Jaipur at the end of the previous edition. Gopal conceded 15 runs from the 21 balls he bowled to AB de Villiers before this game. The South African was the only batsman whom Shreyas dismissed more than once in the IPL.

Perfect execution from the Rajasthan Royals:

Given how the pitch played in the second innings, it was evident that the more overs from the speedsters Jofra Archer and Varun Aaron up front would have allowed the visitors to settle down by scoring runs at a good pace. The Rajasthan team ensured they bowled as many overs as possible from the spinners in the first half itself. Aaron conceded 16 runs in the only over he bowled in the game while Archer was taken for 14 runs in the one over he bowled across the first 13 overs of RCB innings.

Gowtham conceded 17 runs across the three overs he bowled in the powerplay and the pressure was on Virat Kohli who played a majority of the first six overs but scored only 23 from 23 balls. Gopal’s first delivery to Kohli was a googly which RCB skipper gloved onto his pads. On the very next ball, Kohli tried for an expansive drive missing the googly and got cleaned up.

AB de Villiers walked in with a positive intent by hitting the 2nd ball he faced for a boundary. In his 2nd over, Gopal tied up ABD with leg-breaks before bowling a googly. De Villiers handed a return catch on the wrong-un that kept low. The tactics to get the spinners early on ensured the Rajasthan Royals had the three big names in form of Kohli, De Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer in the pavilion cheaply.

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