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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bowling coach, Venkatesh Prasad has a rather vast contingent of fast bowlers to work with this season. Every time he calls for a bowlers’ meet, 12 pacemen turn up in the room. The former India pacer says it’s exciting to have a large and vast group to mentor and is happy with the plethora of bowling options the RCB have now.
“I’m really enjoying having a huge group of pacers to work with,” Prasad said. “We do have a general bowlers’ meet every now and then but when it comes to matches I speak to a select bunch of pacers who will be taking the field”.
“That makes the group smaller and we can discuss specific matters such as bowling to a particular batsman, etc. I also encourage every bowler to give his inputs irrespective of whether he is an overseas player or a young Indian pacer.”
“A few of our bowlers are coming back from injuries and we’d like to give them some time. And we can do that because now we have a lot of bowlers to pick from.”
RCB play their third game of the Pepsi IPL 2013, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad – the team to which they lost their last game in a thrilling one-over eliminator. RCB defeated MI by two runs in their opening game.
Against both, MI and SRH, it was Vinay Kumar who bowled the last over and effectively so. Against MI, Vinay defended 10 runs in the final and picked up two wickets. Againsr SRH, he gave away six runs for a wicket.
However, he failed to keep it tight in the super over and conceded 20 runs to SRH, who walked away with a win. Prasad highlighted Vinay’s positive performance and expressed faith in him.
“What Vinay did against SRH and MI was fantastic and he’s grown in confidence after those performances,” Prasa told the media “We need to appreciate him for that and encourage him to take more responsibilities when it comes to bowling the last overs and the super overs. He knows what he’s doing and he executes the strategies formed in the bowlers’ meeting on the field. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to do it for us in the super over but that happens,” Prasad said, before stating a feature of Vinay’s bowling that needs to be changed in T20 cricket.
“His thought process and field placement was really good but I felt he probably became too predictable, trying to bowl the yorker every ball. That aspect, the one about keeping the batsmen guessing, is what we’ll work on.”
The bowling mentor was also pleased with his lads for showing character and fight in both games.
“The positives I’d like to take from these two matches is the spirit with which we played and competed. We were 20 runs short in the first game and 130 was a difficult score to defend in the second game. But the bowlers have stood by each other and by the batting department as well,” he said.
Amid all the furore and excitement, RCB would be elated to with the news that AB de Villiers will join the team on Tuesday. “de Villiers is arriving in the early hours tomorrow morning and he will be ready to play the game tomorrow. Zaheer and Rampaul included, everyone is fit and ready for the game, “ said the former India pacer.
After beginning with two away fixtures, the Mumbai Indians will play their first home game of the season when they square off against the Delhi Daredevils.
After a gutting 2-run defeat in the opening game, the Mumbai Indians rallied back to defeat the Chennai Super Kings in their own backyard. The Delhi Daredevils meanwhile have lost two matches on the trot and will be keen to get their first points on the board.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 8 p.m
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
The dream pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting hasn’t set the stage on fire just yet. However, given the weight of 61,756 international runs, it won’t be too long before they stamp their authority on the tournament. Kieron Pollard gave glimpses of the destruction he is capable of causing during his unbeaten 57 against the Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians fans will wish the Trinidadian will get enough overs to bat on a consistent basis, and hope he can reproduce the big-hitting regularly.
On the bowling front, Mumbai Indians are likely to be boosted by the arrival of the IPL’s leading wicket-taker Lasith Malinga, who had missed the initial two matches owing to a back injury.
Delhi Daredevils will be boosted by the arrival of last season’s Purple Cap winner Morne Morkel. The 28-year old South African, who has been in good form recently, will be looking for a repeat of his last season’s performance when he picked up 25 wickets and topped the wickets charts.
The Daredevils are a far better batting side than their performances in the first two matches suggest; David Warner, Virender Sehwag (who is more than likely to be available for this match), Mahela Jayawardene, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan and Andre Russell make for a very solid batting line-up. Warner played an uncharacteristic innings against the Rajasthan Royals and it will be important that the Australian plays his natural game – of the attacking variety – which will give the team greater chances of winning.
It is five apiece where previous encounters between the Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils are concerned. While playing in Mumbai though, the Mumbai Indians have a 3-1 win-loss record over the Delhi Daredevils.
Five of the eight IPL matches played at the Wankhede Stadium last season were won by teams chasing.
Kieron Pollard has scored 67.3% of his 701 IPL runs in boundaries; his boundary percentage is second only to Chris Gayle’s 75.7%.
While the Delhi Daredevils will head back to host the Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 12, the Mumbai Indians will stay put at home to host neighbours Pune Warriors India on April 13.