While Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) look to make it four wins out of four in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, their opponents on Thursday (April 22) Rajasthan Royals (RR), who have won just one of their three matches, will be desperately looking to get another victory on the board.
Former England batsman Mark Butcher reckons RR might have to change their bowling combination a bit and get in Andrew Tye instead of Mustafizur as RR lose the advantage when they have three left-arm pacers bowling in the line-up.
“Left-armers historically have had a lot of success over Virat Kohli, getting him to drive wide, full ball and nicking them behind to the ‘keeper or the odd slip. It’s a good ploy to have. One question I have for RR, and I know Jofra Archer is not there to mix it up a little bit, is if everybody is bowling the same, do you lose the advantage of using the left-armer as something different? If everyone bats left-handed, there’s no difference, there’s nothing for the bowling team to worry about. They can prepare for left-handers only, similarly with the bowlers,” Butcher said during his first face-off with Criclytics, Cricket.com’s AI-driven prediction platform.
“You’ve also got Andrew Tye sitting on the bench. Andrew Tye wherever he’s been, whether it is playing for Gloustershire in the Blast or Sunrisers, where he has had a go at in the IPL, he has taken big bags of wicket and he’s a master at the death. So, if you want to change that up, maybe give Mustafizur (Rahman) a bit of a rest, keep the other to left-armers in and you’ve got Andrew Tye waiting in the wings,” he added.
He also suggested that RR could bring in leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal into the mix, considering he has tasted tremendous success over Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the past. Gopal has given away 77 runs from 72 deliveries to both the batsmen combined but has also dismissed them on seven occasions in 11 innings collectively.
A veteran of 71 Tests for England, Butcher also suggested that RCB do not have to tinker with their combination, given that they have already won all their three games so far. He reckons, they have the winning formula.
“There isn’t much to change because the last pitch they played – in Chennai – was a belter. Completely and utterly outplayed the opposition. However, the fact that they used only three overseas players gives them an option. Perhaps moving to the Wankhede Stadium they might consider bringing in Dan Christian. That gives them a little bit more all-round power. Seam bowling, yes. Great bowling, terrific fielder as well,” Butcher, who is backing RCB to go all the way this season, said on Cricket.com’s Man vs Machine.
“They’ve also got Kane Richardson as an option as well. At the moment, they’re making changes from a position of strength, rather than play catch-up. The formula looks good and they can add to it with good options going into this one,” he added.
After conquering Chennai, RCB will look to get off to a winning start at the Wankhede as well. However, it will not be easy as RR have already played there thrice this season and will be well aware of the conditions in Mumbai.