Who will bat at number 3 for RCB in IPL 2021?

Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image source: Twitter)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image source: Twitter)

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is one of the strongest sides on paper with many star players in their squad but they have always struggled to cross the finishing line in the Indian Premier League (IPL). This is mainly because they struggle to strike a perfect balance in their combination of 11 players. For instance, as Virat Kohli opens the batting with Devdutt Padikkal in the ongoing season, they have not found the right batsman to bat at number 3, which may backfire for them.

As RCB needs to win at least 3 matches in the remaining 7 matches to qualify for the playoffs, they need to sort this issue out as this position is very crucial for controlling the innings. Before analyzing the players let us understand the role of the number 3 batsman. The batsman playing at the one down position will be playing in middle overs, especially when the spinners are bowling. So they should ensure they strike well without giving much dot balls to opposition and should maintain strike rate of 120-150 in middle overs. The players who can bat at Number 3 for RCB are:

  1. Rajat Patidar
  2. Mohammed Azharuddeen
  3. Sachin Baby

First let’s analyze their common stats like Number of runs scored, Number of dismissals, Average, Number of 100s and 50s in T20 cricket.

The data used for this analysis is taken from “Sportskeeda” website.

Out of these 3 players, Sachin Baby is the most experienced one, with 1499 runs in 64 matches. He has been dismissed 56 times with an average of 26.76. Out of 1499 runs he has scored around 788 runs in boundaries. Sachin Baby has also contributed with 7 50s in his T20 career. 

The next player in the list is Rajat Patidar. He has played 3 matches for RCB in 1st phase of IPL 2021. Overall, he has played 25 matches, with 739 runs and has been dismissed 23 times. His average is 32.13 with 6 50s to his name. Out of 739 runs he scored, 432 runs were in boundaries. Last but not the least is Mohammed Azharuddeen, who has played 22 matches with 451 runs and has been dismissed 20 times. His average is 22.55 and he has even hit a century in T20 Cricket. Out of 451 runs he scored, 282 runs were in boundaries.

As we have analyzed the overall performance, let’s dig into more information like Runs Per Innings (RPI), Strike Rate (SR), Balls Per Boundary (BPB) and Balls Per Dismissal (BPD). Runs Per Innings is the average number of runs scored by a batsman in every innings. Balls Per Boundary is the average number of balls taken by a batsman to hit a boundary. Balls Per Dismissal is the average number of balls faced by a batsman before he gets out.

The above analysis shows that, Patidar is having a high RPI of nearly 30 followed by Sachin and Azharuddeen with 23 and 21. Azharuddeen and Patidar have same strike rate of 142 and Sachin has strike rate of 135. All the 3 players score a boundary in every 6 balls they face. Patidar can face 23 balls before he gets out, followed by Sachin and Azharuddeen with 20 and 16 balls respectively.

Conclusion

From the above analysis, Patidar leads in all aspects and is leading the race for this crucial number 3 position. So, the probable playing XI for RCB will be:

  • Devdutt Padikkal 
  • Virat Kohli
  • Rajat Patidar
  • Glenn Maxwell
  • AB De Villers
  • Tim David / Wanindu Hasaranga
  • Shabaz Ahmed
  • Kyle Jamieson
  • Harshal Patel
  • Mohammed Siraj
  • Yuzvendra Chahal

With the above playing XI, RCB’s batting depth would be till number 9 with 7 bowlers, which will make them a power packed T20 team. 

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