IPL 2024: RCB look like an unbalanced team, says Stuart Broad after they suffer big defeat to KKR

Monday, April 22, 2024

Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s up-and-down results despite two superb innings by talismanic batter Virat Kohli means that they are an unbalanced squad, says former England pacer Stuart Broad after RCB suffered a big defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders at home in Match 10 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Even though Virat Kohli propelled them to a defendable 182/6 in 20 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders, RCB went down to KKR by seven wickets with over three overs to spare at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.

In an exclusive segment on Star Sports, cricket stars Stuart Broad, Irfan Pathan, and Steve Smith provided comprehensive insights into the recent performances and strategic nuances observed in the ongoing matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

“In times like that you want to heap praise on KKR, you know six visits in a row they’ve taken a victory in Bengaluru. You have to look at the RCB bowling too, just watch KKR bowl cutters and slower balls and into the pitch, very difficult for one of the best batters ever, Virat Kohli who wasn’t able to time the ball consistently throughout. And then they came on and bowled with a lot of pace on, which disappeared to the boundary, they bowled short and were predictable.

“But that’s their issue RCB, I think their batting for many years has been strong and they’ve got star power there but then their bowling unit doesn’t seem to be able to stand up and win them games. It looks like a slightly unbalanced team and in my personal opinion they’ve got their overseas players spot on and sometimes it takes a humbling loss like that at home to sharpen your focus and make you realise how you should be playing,” Stuart Board said.

Marsh under scrutiny

Broad, the former England cricketer, dissected the shortcomings of the RCB bowling lineup, emphasising the tactical errors that led to their defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Meanwhile, Pathan and Smith delved into the analysis of Mitchell Starc’s performance and potential areas of improvement for the Australian pace bowler. Pathan highlighted Starc’s prowess when swinging the ball in and offered his observations on Starc’s adaptation to Indian conditions, Star Sports informed in a release on Saturday.

Smith, on the other hand, provided strategic suggestions for Starc’s bowling approach, emphasising the importance of utilising swing as a potent weapon. Additionally, Smith weighed in on the batting position of K.L. Rahul for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Punjab Kings (PBKS), showcasing the trio’s expert analysis and diverse perspectives on the tactical intricacies of IPL 2024.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, former England cricketer Stuart Broad spoke on the bad tactics deployed by the RCB bowlers. “It was in the length that he hit and RCB should have followed that, they dropped much shorter or were in the slot with their slow balls. I think what Andre Russell did so well, it wasn’t necessarily back-of-the-hand stuff, it was just cutters, going into the top of the stumps which the batters weren’t able to adjust to.

“And when you’re bowling cutters, if you drop too short or too full, the batters can adjust, but if you’re in the length that they can’t quite get to, that’s when it’s difficult and RCB just didn’t get their lengths right. Too short, too full with the slower balls and cutters and KKR punished them,” Broad said.

Broad added, “With the team batting first, normally you’d expect to learn so much from the team that has bowled first and take all that information and deliver that in the second innings. So they had all the information of what KKR did so brilliantly, but they didn’t manage to put that into practise and deliver that skill. I think RCB coaching staff and captain will be really disappointed with the execution of what they could have done.”

Broad also spoke on the performance of Starc who is yet to justify his price tag this IPL. “It’s two for two in the win category which is what you judge yourself on a lot of times as a player. Generally, if you’re in the winning team you stay in the team, so he will be delighted with the fact that his team is getting over the line, and he’s not struck yet.

“If he had bowled 0 for 100 and lost two in two, his stock probably comes under a few question marks, but I think the fact that they’ve gone and won the game buys him some time and because they spent so much money on him they’re going to give him 5-6 games to find some form and find some rhythm. Because there’s no doubt that when he gets it right, he’s lethal with the ball, but he’s probably lacking some match awareness in the IPL, there were a couple of balls today where he may have chosen the wrong option to.

“I think DK swept him over fine leg with a pace on the ball at leg stump. So those sorts of things he will get better at, the more he gets to know his captain and his fielders and his bowling group. He will be feeling a bit of pressure because when you’ve got that price tag you want to come and take some wickets to show your teammates that you’re up for the challenge,” he added.

Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan also spoke on Starc’s performance. “Starc is at his best when he is swinging the ball in. When that looping swing starts to the right-hand batter, it can be lethal. And I haven’t seen that in the last two games. The head could just be staying on the ball a bit more, or it could just be the pitches, or it could just be getting used to Indian conditions. Once he starts getting that inswing, he will be a bowler to watch out for throughout the IPL,” Pathan told Star Sports.

Steve Smith spoke on what Starc should focus on in his bowling. “I think today he was looking to wobble the ball across the right-handed batter, which is a good option, but I feel like he’s got to swing it back down the line. He is a left-hand fast bowler who can bowl at 145+ KMPH. There’s nothing like a ball swinging back into a right-handed batsman. It’s one of the hardest balls to face. So I’d like to see that first and use that one as a variation to trying to nick off from them,” Steve Smith told Star Sports.

Steve Smith also spoke on KL Rahul should open for LSG or play down the order against PBKS

“I doubt it was just a one-game thing, so I am sure he is going to continue that. I think he is dangerous wherever he plays. I think I have said this before during the last game as well. He has a very low dot ball percentage against spin, having faced a lot of bowling in the power play. Normally, spin comes on when you are in. It’s slightly different when you have to start against it when you’re batting at number five, and that was my only concern. But he is a quality player and he’ll be able to bat in every position,” he told Star Sports ahead of LSG’s clash with Punjab Kings in Lucknow on Saturday.

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