The Betway ambassador discusses another disappointing season for RCB, assesses Harry Brook’s first IPL season, and makes his prediction to win it all.
RCB need more balance
It doesn’t surprise me that RCB haven’t qualified for the playoffs. They’ve spent too much capital on batting.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, batting gets you sponsorships, bowling wins you premierships. And RCB’s bowling has never, ever, ever been good enough.
They’ve had all the batters in the world. De Villiers, Kohli, Gayle, du Plessis, Maxwell, they’ve had everybody. They’re as spectacular as it gets when it comes to the batting lineup, but where are the wickets?
At the end of the day, they look great, they have the most followers on social media, but it’s not about sponsorships, it’s about taking wickets and getting games over the line.
Mohammed Siraj was amazing this year. Imagine if they had Yuzvendra Chahal, who they should never in a million years have let go. Just imagine how much of a difference that would have made to the makeup of RCB.
They would have had a world-class spinner who always ends up at top of the table, and Mohammed Siraj, who came into his own this season. They are two world-class bowlers. It’s absolute madness that they got rid of Chahal.
CSK and MI set the example
Both CSK and MI have incredible leadership, stable leadership, and they’ve got bowling attacks that do the business. They’ve got quality throughout.
For Chennai, the tactician that MS Dhoni is counts for so much, and the calmness of Stephen Fleming counts for so much.
When you look at the Mumbai Indians, they’ve got a team that doesn’t start well, but once they get going, they’re brilliant.
Cameron Green has been an outstanding buy for them, and they’ve done so much better this year, even though they’ve missed Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah.
For them to be in the position that they are, in almost a building phase for the franchise, is off-the-charts good. No one would have expected them to have done this well this year. They’ve excelled tremendously.
Harry Brook will be disappointed
Harry Brook’s debut IPL campaign has been incredibly disappointing, and he’ll say exactly the same. He got a hundred, yes, but I think it’s been overshadowed by being dropped.
One thing I would say is I don’t think he’s been playing at a happy franchise. When the captain says he’s got no idea why some players aren’t in the lineup, and you’ve been around for the last eight weeks together, that tells me there’s an issue with the franchise.
I don’t know where that issue is, whether it’s behind the scenes or in the ownership structure, but I’ve been in teams like that, and there’s definitely something going on.
I just hope that he learns from the experience and becomes a better player. He’s only young. He got an IPL hundred in his first season, that’s incredible. But if we’re just looking at his statistics, he will feel bitterly disappointed.
One technical thing I’ve noticed is that he moves around the crease way too much. In some conditions, he needs to stand still and trust his eye. Other than that, he’s a fabulous player, and I’m sure that when he gets back to England he’ll be fine.
I’d like to see a Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings final, and if that’s the case, I think Mumbai might win this.
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