BENGALURU: Death bowling is an art. Practice and execution are different things. The bowler needs to engineer those yorkers, slower balls, knuckle balls to perfection when batsmen go hell for leather in the final few overs. Royal Challengers Bangalore have been caught wanting while bowling between the 16th and 20th overs. It would not be wrong to state that this has been a setback despite having a better attack than last season. If they conceded 88 runs in five overs against Rajasthan Royals, things did not improve against Mumbai Indians, who took 70 off the final five.
Virat Kohli tried different combinations, using pacers Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes at the end. But they have lacked consistency. Woakes is aware of the need to step up at the death. “Everyone has to bowl if they are needed by the captain. We tried different combinations at the death.
(Mohammed) Siraj came in last game and bowled well. Hopefully he can continue doing that. Our plans are good. We need to execute them better,” said the Englishman.
In four matches so far, Challengers have bowled first thrice and used a spinner in the last five overs once, against Kings XI Punjab, their lone victory. In the last two matches, they went for medium pace and leaked runs.
With Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal in the side, they may look at spin for the last five. If spinners can be used during powerplay, they should be trusted for slog overs too. “It depends on the surface and the batsmen at the crease.
If there is a batsman with a weakness against spin bowling, than that can be used as an option. I am sure that the coach and the management will be looking at all sorts of options for the last five overs,” said Woakes. If bowlers leak runs, it will be difficult even for a star-studded batting line-up. Chasing 200 is a mammoth task even if you have the likes of Kohli and AB De Villiers. “We have all sorts of areas that we want to improve on. We need to play well for the entire 40 overs,” said Woakes
Kohli had a poor run during India’s tour of England in 2014, scoring 134 runs in five Tests. The India skipper has decided to play county cricket before this year’s tour. Woakes feels the presence of Kohli will help county cricket. “If counties are willing to sign Indian players heading into the series, then so be it. Good thing about county cricket is that we get good overseas players. Young guys getting an opportunity to bowl to Kohli can only help the county game. Hopefully, he does not score too many runs so he is not in too good form come the series,” he said on a lighter note.