Royal Challengers Bangalore have endured a torrid time in the IPL. They have now lost seven out of their eight matches and are on the brink of elimination. A chunk of the blame goes to their pacers who have received some pasting in this edition of the IPL.
And it was on display in their last match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede. The MI batsmen exploited their weak link that was their pace bowling to chase down 172 on a track which was a bit two-paced.
Before the MI match, the gulf in the performance of their spinners and pacers was visible. The spinners averaged 14.59, had a strike rate of 19.47 and economy rate of 7.59. In comparison, their pace bowlers averaged 63.46, had a strike rate of 40.17 and conceded at an economy rate of 9.29.
So MI came out with a set plan and attacked the RCB pacers in the Powerplay. They garnered 67 from the powerplay. Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma attacked Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini and later on Mohammed Siraj to take the game away from RCB. The RCB pacers didn't get their line and lengths right and were punished.
It affected the decision making so much so that Kohli didn't trust any of his pacers and gave the penultimate over to left-arm spinner Pawan Negi which was a huge risk with 22 needed off 2 overs. Hardik Pandya finished off the match in that over itself.
The RCB pacers conceded 80 runs from seven overs giving away runs at 11.42 runs per over, while the spinners gave away runs at just 7.66 per over, conceding 92 runs from 12 overs.
Navdeep Saini has averaged 53.50 and given away runs at 7.92. Umesh Yadav has averaged 96.50 and has an economy rate of 9.26. Siraj averaged 33 but has given away runs at 9.55 per over. De Grandhomme, Stoinis and Southee's economy rates read 10.75, 12, 14.16 respectively.
The overall pace battery averages 63.46, has a strike rate of 40.31 and economy rate of 9.46.
Surely, they need to up the ante big time and show vast improvement against the Knight Riders who have some formidable batsmen in the line-up. Else, it's going to be the same old story at the Eden Gardens.