Doing wonders for their team and winning matches is quite uncharacteristic of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bowlers, especially in this season. In their first seven games, the bowlers proved to the Achilles heel of the team, bringing everything from pain to agony for the skipper as well as their fans. During their eighth match in the season, RCB was there again- a time where they had batted first and were now waiting for their bowlers to strike. Except this time, they actually did.
The team’s bowlers have consistently been tested during the death-overs, in which they consistently lose their momentum and give away victory to their opponents. On Tuesday night, playing against the Mumbai Indians in their home ground of Chinnaswamy Stadium, they decided to do something better.
The bowlers from Mumbai had every type of ball up their arsenal. From killer cutters to knuckle balls and the slower one, they were bowling up to 4 variations in an over, which was enough to keep even experienced opened like Quinton de Kock puzzled. Skipper Virat Kohli also went out for a seemingly harmless ball while aspiring to hit a long six.
The Bangalore team has always notoriously been in favor of batsmen, even keeping their team ridiculously unbalanced. This has cost them matches over the course of this season. With the appearance of Tim Southee, things finally showed a sign of change. He later said, “Yeah it [abundance of change ups] was discussed. First and foremost, we went to our strongest skill set and that’s trying to swing the ball.”
The New Zealander brought in his full-pitched swing to the game, troubling the right-left combination of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. As he opened the bowling for his team, he dominated the game play until the final ball of the over, when Ishan Kishan was out for an inglorious duck, for the third time this season.
Then came Umesh Yadav, who didn’t want to leave any stones unturned to cause damage to the opponents. Suryakumar went first when he tried a cross-batted sweep without moving his feet and was sent back to the dugout. Then came the Indians’ captain Rohit Sharma who could have single handedly changed the game had he not been sent out as quickly for a golden duck.
Soon, the swing stopped helping the bowlers so they imitated the Mumbai bowlers by flipping the seam over and bringing more variation to their balls. The rest was done by the notoriously slow pitch that confused all players. Pollard, who was expected to help turn around the Indians’ fortune also went out on his 13th ball.
Southee explained, “There was a little bit of assistance there with the swing and we were able to take those early wickets. And once it stopped swinging, we adapted to that, to the cross-seam deliveries which were holding [up on the] the surface and moving a little bit off the surface as well. So, I think we were reasonably smart as a bowling unit and we were able to assess the conditions.”
The team will be out for the next five matches, hoping to make a place for themselves in the knockout rounds.