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How RCB's planning unravelled against LSG and Mayank Yadav

'I knew what Mayank brought to the table, and knew a little bit about his bowling. But in those local tournaments, you will not get this skiddy kind of track that we had here tonight, the local pitches are more damp. But yeah, he is bowling really well,' said Mahipal Lomror.
Last Updated 03 April 2024, 07:27 IST

Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bengaluru's strategy against the super-quick Mayank Yadav was to use his extreme pace against him, and it is not an unfamiliar approach in top-flight cricket.

But even on a slightly gripping Chinnaswamy pitch, Mayank, who clocked consistently north of 150 km/h and used angles wonderfully, upended RCB’s plans to walk away with impressive figures of 4-0-14-3.

Lucknow Super Giants won their IPL 2024 match by a princely 28-run margin to go fourth on the table with four points.

Mahipal Lomror, who came in as an impact sub, was a distant spectator from dugout when Mayank unleashed his fury, but he was candid enough to explain RCB's failure in detail.

"Honestly, our plan was simple…to use his (Mayank) space against him. It's a small ground and the ball flies here. So, our overall plan was just to use his pace and not to go against it. But there were some mistakes which happened and I think we need to be very clear about what we're going to do if someone is bowling every ball at 150 clicks. We need to be clear in our heads," said Lomror, who has the experience of playing Mayank in local cricket, in the post-match press meet.

However, Lomror said playing Mayank in local tournaments is quite different from playing him in a top-tier event like the IPL.

"I knew what Mayank brought to the table, and knew a little bit about his bowling. But in those local tournaments, you will not get this skiddy kind of track that we had here tonight, the local pitches are more damp. But yeah, he is bowling really well," said Lomror.

A quick glance back at two match situations can validate the words of Lomror.

Anuj Rawat attempted a couple of ramp shots but the left-hander saw the ball whizzing past his ribs and ears and Mayank's 152 kmph thunderbolt carried far too much pace in it for Glenn Maxwell to impart timing to his pull, turning it into a wimpy top-edge to Nicholas Pooran.

It was Maxwell's 16th duck in IPL, and second in four matches this season.

But that was not the only time the RCB thinktank’s— comprising captain Faf du Plessis, head coach Andy Flower and director of cricket Mo Bobat— calculations went awry on the night.

For reasons known best to them, the Royal Challengers benched Vysakh Vijayakumar, their best bowler against Kolkata Knight Riders with figures of 4-0-23-1.

The pacer used the knuckle balls and slower bouncers to good effect in that match to check the free-stroking KKR batters, and he could have been invaluable on a tacky deck against LSG.

As Quinton de Kock and later Nicholas Pooran waded into them with a mix of slices, cuts and pulls, RCB quickly ran out of bowling options. Perhaps, LSG skipper KL Rahul offered them the best lesson on preparation for a match.

"The chat was very simple— there's a bit of help on the wicket, try and use the wicket, not to go for the yorkers really quickly," said Rahul.

Will it spark a re-evaluation in the RCB board room?

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(Published 03 April 2024, 07:27 IST)

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