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WPL 2023 : RCB should’ve capitalised on the form of their players : Veda Krishnamurthy

Mumbai : India batter Veda Krishnamurthy believes the Royal Challengers Bangalore should have capitalised on making their in-form players bat when the overs were getting less during their ten-wicket defeat to UP Warriorz in the Women’s Premier League (WPL).

Bangalore had Ellyse Perry getting a fifty, but that was not adequate to avoid a ten-wicket thrashing from the Warriorz. The rest of Bangalore’s star-studded batting line-up had another disappointing batting show as they lost their last seven wickets for 40 runs.

“When you have Heather Knight, Erin Burns, and Richa Ghosh in the middle order already, they sent Kanika Ahuja and Shreyanka Patil in an attempt to split them.

When the overs were dwindling, they should’ve capitalized on the form of their players. Heather Knight has been playing for England at No. 4 (she batted at No. 5 on Friday).

For me, I wonder why they elected to send the batting order that they did,” said Veda, a WPL expert for Sports18 and JioCinema, after the game ended.

With four losses in as many matches, Bangalore are at the bottom of the points table, with issues aplenty like not having a settled number four, unable to capitalise in middle overs and bowlers leaking runs aplenty.

Speaking in a select virtual interaction facilitated by Viacom18 on Friday, former India cricketer Reema Malhotra pointed out that Bangalore hadn’t been making optimum use of their domestic players.

“If one has a glance at the RCB team, then it emerges that they are a top-heavy side. They have good players in Smriti Mandhana, Ellyse Perry and Renuka Singh Thakur. But the problem is, they haven’t been able to use their Indian players really well.

They have an all-rounder in Kanika Ahuja, but hasn’t been given a ball yet.” “But for Punjab, she always bowls as a regular bowler. One can also see Poonam Khemnar in their last game against Gujarat, who also wasn’t given a go with the ball.

If one has options, but hasn’t been able to use them yet, it then shows up in shortage of bowling options as well as in the captaincy of Smriti Mandhana.”

There’s pressure riding on Smriti, the most expensive player of the tournament, who hasn’t been able to find her groove with the bat and has also been dealing with four straight losses as a captain.

Reema felt questions shouldn’t be raised on Smriti’s captaincy as she didn’t have enough time to understand her players in the WPL. “I have played against Smriti and saw her captaincy; she’s someone who has taken her Maharashtra side to final in domestic cricket.

There are questions which shouldn’t be raised on her captaincy as she joined the team only two days away from the competition and didn’t get time to understand her domestic players.

Its just that Bangalore is not clicking as a unit as they are not using their resources well and that’s when the role of support staff comes in.” While the RCB coaching staff is led by head coach Ben Sawyer and director of cricket Mike Hesson, Reema thinks an experienced Indian name would have helped Smriti deal better with understanding players.

As of now, RCB have Malolan Rangarajan (assistant coach), Vanitha VR (fielding coach & scout), and RX Murali (batting coach) as Indian names in support staff. “When the support staff won’t tell who a player is, what they bring to the table, that is where RCB is going back as a team.

Also, if you see in other teams, there’s a big name in the dugout, like Jhulan in Mumbai Indians, Hemlata Kala in Delhi Capitals, Anju Jain in UP Warriorz, Mithali Raj and Nooshin Al Khadeer in Gujarat Giants.”

“But there’s a huge name missing from support staff of RCB who could tell Smriti that ‘this player does this, these are the options’. When Smriti gets to know capabilities of her domestic players, then RCB can do even better. When she will captain well, it will also reflect in her batting.”



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