From The Team Analyst
In a previous post here, we invited strategies from fans for the match against Otago Volts. We received a very good response to that. I shared the comments with Prasanna, the Team- Analyst and he liked the different views presented by the fans. Below are his answers to some of the questions raised in the aforementioned post:
Question: Why we chose to bat first after toss?
Prasanna: We knew that the wicket was crumbling and sixty overs would have been bowled on the same pitch by the time the second innings would have started. The wicket was already turning in the first match of the day and we had much better spinners to exploit the conditions.
Question: Why didn’t we play Dale Steyn?
Prasanna: It was a choice between Dale and Roelof due to the four-international-players-only constraint. Kallis and Ross are indispensible in the line-up at their respective batting positions. Boucher is the specialist keeper of the team. Since the pitch was crumbling and slow, a talent like Dale Steyn, unfortunately, had to sit out.
Question: Why was Manish replaced by Akhil?
Prasanna: In the team-composition and RCB’s strategy to pace the innings, it was clear that Manish had to bat at number six. We thought that Akhil is also a good batsman for that slot (Remember his 27 runs off 7 balls against the Deccan Chargers). Additionally, we knew that Akhil with his medium pace, variation and back of the hand deliveries on the slow nature of the wicket will be more helpful.
Prashant: Yesterday there was a poll running espnstar.com whether RCB is the side to be feared most. Majority voted RCB over Delhi Daredevils. We have some serious talent friends.
Question: Why not open the bowling with Kumble?
Prasanna: We could have tried that if we were to bowl first. But the moment we had a target of 188 we decided against experimentation. We had 8 overs from Kumble & Roelof and so we thought to use these overs in the middle to maximum effect when the ball becomes softer.
Question: What was our target score?
Prasanna: Our target score was, to be honest, 165. Ross walked in and scores 32 of 11 which took us to 188.
Question: How did we get Brendon McCullum?
Prasanna: Australians have worked out a similar plan to not to allow him to play in his favorite areas which are point, cover and third-man. He scored only one boundary against us and that too due to a misfield. Frustration built up and credit for his wicket should also be shared with Praveen Kumar who rattled him in the first over.
Hope you guys found his answers helpful. We are working on having a dedicated section for the team-analyst. Until that is done, I shall be posting (in this blog) his analysis and answers to your questions on every match that RCB would be playing.