back icon
safari
16 Oct 2020 | 05:38 PM
authorSomesh Agarwal
How not to use data
RCB had good intentions behind not sending de Villiers to bat in the seventh over, but they were outmanoeuvred by the opposition’s strategy

“There was a message from outside about left hand-right hand. We had a discussion about and we wanted to go ahead with it because they had two leggies. That could have kept them out of the game.” 

This was Virat Kohli’s candid reasoning behind AB de Villiers coming out to bat at number six against KXIP in their last game. Let us try and understand what prompted the decision. 

Despite KXIP's abject failure to execute their plans this season, they have been better prepared in both their games against RCB and that shows in the results.

In their first encounter in Match 9th this season, KXIP bamboozled RCB after posting a 200+ total and then unleashed their legspinners – Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin – against them. The two leggies had an aggregate return of six for 53 in seven overs. Ashwin got the prized wicket of de Villiers. 

Despite two good outings, first against RCB and then against RR on the Rahul Tewatia night, Ashwin missed four games to follow. KXIP brought him back against their reverse fixture against RCB.

The ghosts of the past played on RCB’s mind that prompted them to promote Washington Sundar to number four after the second wicket fell in the seventh over after Ashwin cleaned-up Aaron Finch.

Reading the game well themselves, KXIP bowled Glenn Maxwell from one-end to counter the left-hander. When Ashwin got his second wicket, getting Sundar in the eleventh over of the innings, Maxwell had bowled three overs for a miserly 22.

What’s more, RCB’s logic of ensuring the legspinners finish their quota before de Villiers walked failed as the use of Maxwell ensured Bishnoi had three overs up his sleeves.

In an ideal world, after an experiment fails, teams should switch back to the tested formula. Yet, RCB aggravated it by sending in Shivam Dube at five. While they stuck to their plan of using left-handers against legspin, they failed to acknowledge KXIP’s reactiveness of being one step ahead and using Maxwell instead.

Kohli’s approach in the middle-overs did not help their cause either. On a night when they planned their batting line-up as per match-ups, Kohli characteristic sedate approach did not help to release the pressure off their youngsters. Failing to counter KXIP’s plan, Kohli did not attack Maxwell on the short boundaries at Sharjah and just rotated strike against him, scoring six off six balls.

In the end, when de Villiers walked in at the end of 15 overs, RCB were behind the game with him left with no option than to attack from the word go. Moreover, both Ashwin and Bishnoi still had an over each up their sleeve while Maxwell quietly chipped in with 28 runs in his four overs.

Facing his fifth ball as late as the 18th over, de Villiers toe-ended Mohammed Shami to extra-cover. Two balls later, Shami bounced out Kohli. 

If not for the heroics of Chris Morris and Isuru Udana in the last two overs, RCB would have been out of the game in the first innings itself. Despite KXIP being the side that are so uncertain they are unable to finish games when the opposition themselves have given up.

Before their game against KXIP, RCB’s top-3 and de Villiers did all the lifting. Dube and Sundar averaged 8 and 6.9 balls per match with the bat. Gurkeerat Singh did not get a chance to bat in three matches and has made way for an extra bowler, Mohammed Siraj, in the last two games.

If the logic was to give the youngsters a chance before the business end of the tournament, their promotion is still acceptable. Going by Kohli’s logic of the message from outside, the project should have been called off after the pilot (read Sundar’s promotion) failed.

There will always be questions from the purists as teams make decisions based on data. On the use of data-centric decision making in cricket, former India captain Rahul Dravid said “The critical thing for me are the people who are going to make the best use of these numbers. How you read those numbers, what you get out of these numbers is the key”. 

The thing about data is that it changes after every ball and the other teams are using it as well. The teams should be flexible to alter their plans based on ground reality to maximize its utility. As Dravid said, what you get out of these numbers is the key.  

Share
Tags
Royal Challengers BangaloreKings XI PunjabVirat KohliWashington SundarShivam DubeAbraham Benjamin de VilliersMurugan AshwinRavi Bishnoi
Related Articles
OPINION
Top tactical blunders in IPL 2020
We look at some tactical blunders which went on to cost the teams in IPL 2020
Shubh Aggarwal
18 Nov 2020
REPORT
Superhuman de Villiers takes RCB across the line again
After the top-order muddled-up the chase, a 22-ball 55* from AB helped RCB topple RR
Somesh Agarwal
17 Oct 2020
ANALYSIS
Time running out for RR as they clash with a hardened RCB
RR need to win five out of their remaining six matches to be safe for the playoffs, while RCB need to get back to winning ways for a top-2 finish
Somesh Agarwal
16 Oct 2020
NEWS
Took cue from RCB bowlers by observing them: M Ashwin
The 30-year-old said watching Chahal and Sundar bowl during RCB's thumping 82-run win over KKR the other day helped him find the right length
PTI
16 Oct 2020
MATCH REPORT
Punjab edge past Bangalore to claim second win despite late drama
There was drama at the end but Rahul and Gayle struck half-centuries to help KXIP claim second win over RCB this season
Ashish Pant
15 Oct 2020
FANTASY
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2020, Match 31: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips and suggestions that might help you in creating your fantasy team for the 31st match of IPL 2020 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Cricket.Com Staff
14 Oct 2020
ANALYSIS
No pushovers in this battle of underdogs
With Buttler back in the mix at a high-scoring venue, the contest between KXIP and RR is difficult to call upfront
Somesh Agarwal
26 Sep 2020
REPORT
RCB routed for a 97-run defeat by KXIP
KL Rahul scored a record-breaking 132* guiding Punjab to 206 for three
Shubh Aggarwal
24 Sep 2020
FANTASY
Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2020, Match 6: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips and suggestions that might help you in creating your fantasy team for the sixth match of IPL 2020 between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Cricket.Com Staff
23 Sep 2020
ANALYSIS
Chasing well, right team combinations key at Mohali
While KXIP look to make their case for a playoff berth stronger, RCB seek their first win of the season.
Cricket.com Staff
13 Apr 2019
Cricket like never before
Term of use
Privacy Policy
Cookies Policy
Follow us on
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved