IPL New Arrivals: Chameera out to add further depth and flavour to RCB's bowling

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18 Sep 2021 | 04:03 AM
authorPramod Ananth

IPL New Arrivals: Chameera out to add further depth and flavour to RCB's bowling

The Sri Lanka fast bowler comes into Bangalore's side for the second phase of the tournament as a replacement for Daniel Sams

In 2018, Dushmantha Chameera was picked by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) but did not feature even once for the franchise. As fate would have it, he has been given another chance to have a crack at the tournament. 

Chameera now leads Sri Lanka’s attack and is perhaps one of the first names on the team sheet. However, while that may not be the case at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he could still have a role to play as the men in red look to seal their maiden IPL title.

RCB are off to an excellent start and now do have the sort of balance in their side to perhaps go all the way. With enough depth in the Indian and overseas contingent, it would be naïve to leave out RCB from the favourites list.

Chameera would have to compete for a spot in RCB’s XI along with Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian and new acquisition George Garton for a place in the XI. While Jamieson and Christian provide an option with the bat as well, Chameera is low in the pecking order on that front. 

However, with Jamieson leaking runs at 13.7 an over at the death this season – the most expensive bowler in that phase (MIN: 2 wickets), it would seem as though it would be a great chance for RCB to test Chameera out in his place. In T20Is this year, Chameera has given away just 6.2 runs per over at the death, which could persuade the RCB management further. Also, given RCB’s firepower with the bat in the top six do they really need a cushion at No. 7?  

Also Read: Where does Wanindu Hasaranga fit into RCB’s scheme of things?

Perhaps not. Instead, they could pick someone who helps a great deal in keeping the runs down with Chameera being a solid option.

While Chameera is not ideal in the powerplay, he certainly is a terrific option when it comes to bowling in the middle overs or in the death. 


He can take some pressure off the spinners in the middle phase and at the death, he could provide a helping hand to Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel, who have been doing bulk of the bowling at that stage. 

He burst into the scene as a quick bowler and a slightly round-arm action after making his Test debut in 2015 against Pakistan, he missed the next game due to a side strain. Slowly after that, his pace kept dropping and the sight of knocking over Ross Taylor on ODI debut – off his very first over in international cricket – just a few months earlier, seemed like it was way in the past. 

Since then, injuries have kept him from reaching his full potential, but he has been a completely different bowler this year. Having played regularly across formats this year, Chameera has amassed 43 international wickets this year, with the Pakistan duo of Shaheen Afridi (55) and Hasan Ali (56) ahead of him. 

Also Read: Wizardry, variety and firepower: Making sense of RCB’s signings

To put things into perspective, Chameera has played 29 matches for Sri Lanka this year, which is more than he played between 2017 and 2019 put together. The result is there for the world to see. He has performed admirably in the Caribbean, England, Bangladesh and also the recently-concluded home series against India. 

Not to forget, he is also the leading wicket-taker in One-Day Internationals (ODI) this year among pacers with 20 scalps to his name. Playing regularly at the highest level is clearly doing wonders for Chameera, who is finally living up to his potential. 

In T20s, he is at his best when he bowls those slower deliveries, nailing the leg-cutters quite well. One-fifth of his T20 wickets have come with that delivery. He is also deadly against the left-handed batsmen, especially from around the wicket, having picked up six wickets at eight and a strike-rate of 7.8 in T20s this year. 

Also Read: IPL 2021: Could this actually be RCB's year?

Bowling yorkers are not his forte but what he does well is that he at good and back of a length area. In T20s since 2020, he has bowled 62% of his deliveries in this area and has picked up 15 of his 23 wickets in this period with deliveries bowled in these areas. However, when he pitches it up a little further, which he has not done as much as he would have liked, the results are even better.

His length goes a tad fuller while bowling at the death, but does not have a good enough yorker to trouble the batsmen. In fact, he is yet to pick up a wicket with a yorker in T20 cricket. Given that he has been excellent at the death in T20s this year, it is indeed staggering to see that none of his seven wickets have been yorkers, which are clearly not his strength. 

Given that in IPL 2020, the pacers had a much better runs and balls per wicket ratio, it should ideally be the fast bowlers who would rule the roost in this edition as well. With Chameera, arguably being the fittest and having played more matches this year than any other, it certainly gives him a chance to be taken note of if and when the opportunity arises. Combined with the conditions in the Middle East, Chameera might prove to be a valued addition to RCB's setup in their quest to break the trophy drought. 

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Indian Premier League, 2021Royal Challengers BangaloreSri LankaDushmantha Chameera

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