IPL 2020: Match 12, RR vs KKR – Smith's new batting template and Narine's success against RR's top three

IPL 2020: Match 12, RR vs KKR – Smith’s new batting template and Narine’s success against RR’s top three

Sanju Samson has a batting strike rate of 214.86 in the IPL 2020.

Sanju Samson IPL
Sanju Samson. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Rajasthan Royals began the IPL 2020 with successive 200+ totals including the highest successful run-chase in the history of the league. They will now face Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai which will be a challenge for the Royals who had previously played in Sharjah only. The batting run rates of Rajasthan might come down by a fair margin as there is a huge difference in playing surfaces and boundary lengths between Sharjah and Dubai.

Change of batting plans for Steve Smith

Steve Smith, in the 2020 IPL, has come out all guns blazing something which went missing from him in the previous edition. The Australian batsman is benefited by playing in the true batting conditions of Sharjah but both of his knocks turned out to be crucial in the victories for Royals. He has struck at 166.7 SR during the powerplay before scoring at nearly 160 during the middle overs.

Much like this year, Smith wasn’t dismissed even once during the powerplay in 2019. But his strike rate was mere 111.6 during that phase and was lowly 116.1 in the middle overs. Smith failed to get going through the previous edition which is why he struck at only 118.8 at the death overs as well. He dot ball % was more than 30 during all three phases and he struggled to find the fence which is not the case in 2020.

Can Narine stop the in-form Royals?

Half-centuries in first two matches have put Steve Smith and Sanju Samson among the players to look out during the RR vs KKR match. Jos Buttler too had a couple of good knocks during the home T20I series against Australia. Hence, KKR can consider this trio a major threat to their winning chances in the match. Narine hasn’t been at his best in this tournament so far but bowling in the powerplay could be his best chance against the trio.

Bowling from the end with longer boundary on the leg-side will be the ideal plan for Narine similar to how Washington Sundar got the better of Rohit Sharma two nights ago. Narine has got a solid record against all the three batsmen in the IPL. Samson, the much-spoken batsman of IPL 2020, has been dismissed three times by the KKR spinner and has a strike rate under 100.

Need for a push in the powerplay?

A target of 143 against SRH in the previous match was quite easy for Shubman Gill as the opener smashed an unbeaten 70. Gill batted without any rush as he didn’t mistime even one delivery through his stay. However, going ahead, Kolkata Knight Riders could expect some sort of urgency from the youngster, especially in the powerplay.

Sunil Narine has been a failure with the bat thus far which could make KKR team expect at least a 15-ball 20 from Gill during the field restrictions before he accelerates in the middle overs. Gill’s best with the bat since 2019 has come between 11th and 15th overs. During this phase, the Punjab batsman smashes at a strike rate of 167.9.

(Stats as on September 29, 2020)