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Bangalore need to find a solution to their #3 woes this Indian T20 League season

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KL Rahul’s Team Punjab produced an all-round display to inflict a second defeat on Team Bangalore in the 2021 Indian T20 League on April 30. Right from KL Rahul’s explosive batting to Harpreet Brar’s match-defining spell, Punjab were just too tough to play against.

While it was a night of utter disappointment for every Bangalore batsmen, the match put forward an issue with which the Virat Kohli’s team has been left exposed since the beginning of this year’s edition.

While chasing 180 against Punjab, a mere two Bangalore batsmen in captain Kohli and Rajat Patidar managed to breach the 30-run mark. Both these batsmen, however, scored at a lowly strike rate of 102.94 and 103.33, respectively. It was indeed a spirited attempt from Rajat Patidar, but from a holistic point of view, it was another underwhelming return from Bangalore Number 3.

Since the start of the season, Bangalore have used as many as three players in the Number 3 slot, and in a total of six innings, these batsmen have accumulated a mere 92 runs at an average of 15.33. Let’s try to understand this from a different perspective. In seven matches so far this season, a total of 924 runs have been scored by Bangalore’s top five batsmen (position-wise), and the Number 3 slot has contributed with a measly 92 runs.

Breakdown of Bangalore's #3 batsmen:

  • Match 1 vs Mumbai: Rajat Patidar scored 8 runs
  • Match 2 vs Hyderabad: Shahbaz Ahmed scored 14 runs
  • Match 3 vs Kolkata: Rajat Patidar scored 1 run
  • Match 4 vs Rajasthan: Did not bat
  • Match 5 vs Chennai: Washington Sundar scored 7 runs
  • Match 6 vs Delhi: Rajat Patidar scored 31 runs
  • Match 7 vs Punjab: Rajat Patidar scored 31 runs

This return is, in fact, the lowest amongst all the other Indian T20 League team’s Number 3 this season. Here’s the detailed breakdown:

Every team's #3 in 2021 Indian T20 League
Team Innings Runs Balls Average Strike Rate
Hyderabad 6 244 206 81.33 118.45
Rajasthan 6 229 157 45.80 145.86
Kolkata 7 187 138 26.71 135.51
Chennai 6 172 113 28.67 152.21
Punjab 7 165 124 27.50 133.06
Mumbai 6 143 107 23.83 133.64
Delhi 7 120 96 20.00 125.00
Bangalore 6 92 83 15.33 110.84

Of the seven matches Bangalore have played this season, Patidar has played four innings at Number 3 and has returned with a substandard score of 71 runs at 17.75. This is the lowest average amongst all the Bangalore batsmen who have scored at least 50 runs this season.

Bangalore batters with a min of 50 runs this season
Player Innings Runs Balls faced Average Strike Rate
Glenn Maxwell 6 223 154 37.16 144.80
AB de Villiers 6 207 126 51.75 164.28
Virat Kohli 7 198 163 33.00 121.47
Devdutt Padikkal 6 195 128 39.00 152.34
Rajat Patidar 4 71 62 17.75 114.51
Kyle Jamieson 5 59 41 19.66 143.90

Bangalore's scintillating batting displays this season may have overshadowed this issue, but the fact is this remains a pitfall that Virat Kohli and Co. need to address. It goes without saying that the Number 3 position is the most important batting position in cricket, and Bangalore cannot afford more hindrance if they are to win the Indian T20 League title this year.

Featured photo: Twitter / RCB

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