Bangalore v Rajasthan, IPL 2010, Rajasthan March 18, 2010

Bangalore bounces Rajasthan into submission

Bangalore's facile thumping of Rajasthan had a crucial sub-text to it - the perfect bouncer and the amount of strife it continued to cause Indian batsmen. Anil Kumble had a seasoned and varied seam-attack at his disposal and they repeatedly let Rajasthan get a good sniff of leather. As Bangalore continue to rise in confidence on the back of two home victories, the other franchises will do well to prepare for the impending bouncer-barrage.

Tip against Yusuf - push him back

Shane Warne can hype it all he wants but Yusuf Pathan's devilishly entertaining hundred against Mumbai lacked the stamp of class. Amazingly, under the captaincy of Sachin Tendulkar, the Mumbai bowlers didn't bowl even one bouncer to Yusuf. Not one. It was bizarre. Surely, by now, everyone knows if there is any chink in Yusuf's armour, it's the ball at his chin. There was a slow bouncer from Lasith Malinga and despite Yusuf struggling against that one, there weren't any more. Yusuf wasn't so lucky tonight - Anil Kumble was not as generous as Tendulkar.

And boy did Kumble's boys pepper him with bouncers or what? Time and again Yousuf was ready on that front foot, ready to swing his club through the line but the white ball flew past his face. It wasn't just the pacy Dale Steyn or the bumper-hungry Jacques Kallis but even Vinay Kumar managed to crash-land one on his helmet.

Where Yusuf redeemed himself was that he didn't let even one full delivery go unpunished. In that respect, his mental fortitude has to be lauded. Vinay was dispatched twice over long-on and even Steyn was crashed once to the cover boundary. He doesn't have the horizontal-bat shots to score against the short deliveries and though he tried couple of upper cuts, he couldn't connect today. It will be a fascinating to watch how he copes with this line of attack in the future. In trying to tackle the short ones by perhaps retreating further inside his crease, will his imperious front-foot play be impeded? Shane Warne put up a brave front when he was asked. "If other teams want to try it against Yusuf, they're welcome to. If they don't get it right and drop it too short, he'll send the ball sailing over the stands," the Rajasthan captain said.

Kumble likes it short and nasty

Perhaps it takes an Indian to know an Indian. It wasn't just against Yusuf that Kumble launched the bumper barrage but in the previous game, he went after his old team-mate for many years - Sourav Ganguly. As soon as Ganguly came in, he brought back Steyn, placed a short-leg and a slip and asked his fast bowler to hurl bouncers. Though Steyn couldn't find his radar on that day, Kumble had sent out the message loud and clear and you knew today he would go after Yusuf.

When in doubt against Indian batsmen, bounce

If we have learned anything so far, it's this - if you see a domestic Indian batsman, don't think too much, just bounce at him. Today, nearly every Indian batsman in the Rajasthan side was tested by bumpers. Naman Ojha, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Yusuf, Paras Dogra and Sumit Narwal were all given the perfume balls. Unsurprisingly, all of them struggled. As Kallis revealed later, it was all part of his team's preparation. "We had the plans in hand, and they worked even better than we thought. The wicket had some carry and we worked out early on that short of a length was the way to go. Some of the Indian batsmen are not used to this kind of carry," he said.

Not everything bad for the Indians

It wasn't all bad for the Indians though. Anil Kumble was as canny as ever and Manish Pandey played a few delightful shots but it was Praveen Kumar's night to remember. In his third over, he claimed a hat-trick. Damien Martyn - after a strange and insipid innings - charged out to york himself, Narwal found the bouncer too hot to handle and top-edged his pull to fine-leg and Dogra couldn't keep out the hat-trick delivery that skidded from short of length to take the fatal inside edge. Praveen couldn't hold himself back - he ran all the way towards third man, high-fiving every extended palm that came on his way.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • v on March 19, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    it was just a case of knowing the weakness of the opponent better than knwing our own strengths. All indian batsmen, even kohli and pandey will struggle with this kind of attack. It is one of the few wepons that the bowlers can use against the batsmen and they will have to use it skillfully. RCBs wins have to be taken in the right context as both RR and Punjab are amongst the weakest teams. That even KKR could defeat them, is itself testimony that any team can dominate on its day. Over dependance on Kallis would only lead to problems if he has an off day. It will be interesting on their strategy against stronger teams.

  • vibhuthi on March 19, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    So,the lesson.The ones with 'proper basics' will always find a way out of any situation.On the other hand,those on the other side might have one great tournament,but will struggle to do it time and again,as is the case with Rajasthan.All concerned with them,importantly,the owners should realize this.I hope RCB prove their class in this tournament.Batting,I belive depends on one's body build-up.Yusuf,despite being a strongly built lad,is not very flexible.This is a huge hindrant in him not being able to counter quality bowling.If he truely wants to become a dreaded bat in the world cricket,he should make subtle adjustments to his technique.My question is does he really has a mind to accept the fact that getting ones and twos are as important to him as clearing the ropes.Only he can answer.If he does on the positive,he will be a great asset to Indian cricket.If not,he will have to live with the tag a of domestic great,as bowlers at intl level will sort him out.

  • R on March 19, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    For all the struggle, Yusuf was the best batsman from RR. The performance of Lumb & Martyn was even worse. It was good bowling - fast & well directed. By the time, Yusuf came to bat, RR were already struggling. Sriram Veera needs more balance in his coverage.

  • Raghu on March 19, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    with the kind of batting and bowling they are showing, wonder how they lost against kkr... cos kkr even with two wins havent been so authoritative...

  • Raghu on March 19, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    do they need any one more than zaheer and malinga.... I didnt see them bowl a single shorth pitched delivery to pathan...

  • Vipul on March 19, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    It was embarrassing to see Yusuf Pathan struggle so much against the short ball. It was a brutal expose by the RCB bowlers. I guess other batsmen must be already shaking in their feet at the prospect of facing a barrage of bouncers. It would be interesting to see how MI team plays up against RCB. Also I think Sriram Veera got a bit wrong here. Mumbai Indians didn't have too many pace bowlers who could pepper YP with regular bouncers. But I am excited! Yesterday's match has suddenly made the IPL much more interesting.

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    well @rtom........our rcb has a nice's kallis to lead with youngsters in the other the young lads as pandey uthappa and kohli could be more free and hit now if kallis gets out it's dravid to come to place kallis's position so well we do have a strong side Rcb gonna get more stronger go go RCB !!!

  • ankur on March 19, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Well i haven't such a poor batting side in a international level tournament for a while(pls keep ZIM out)......... I mean who picked Lumb and Martyn for the side? They were such an embarrasment!!!

    Lumb could hardly connect most of the balls he faced and even if he did they were miss-timed shots.......... And what about Martyn? never looked like scoring a run did he?

  • Ramesh on March 19, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    i guess RCB had a perfect match yesteday night. Hope they continue like this. Big question mark is how will they adopt to a situation when they lose 2-3 wickets early on !! Ofcourse RCB has ever dependable RD, but what will other do ?? wait and watch..

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