Bangalore have had much better returns in the first half of this edition of the Indian T20 League as compared to the previous three editions. They are placed third in the points table with five wins in eight matches so far but their loss to Punjab in the previous match showed that there are a couple of issues which are still ailing them.
One of those issues is Aaron Finch's inability to get them off to quick starts and another is their lack of acceleration while batting in the middle-overs.
Bangalore had acquired the services of Finch to lighten up the load on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. The team was too dependent on these two stalwarts ever since Chris Gayle's departure and the arrival of an explosive batsman like Finch at the top of their order was only supposed to take the pressure off them. However, as things stand eight matches into their season, the Australian batsman has managed only 191 runs and that too at a poor strike-rate of 113.69.
Aaron Finch hasn't been able to get #RCB off to quick starts this season.— Stat Doctor🩺 (@stat_doctor) October 15, 2020
Barring the match vs #MI, he hasn't really got going in the powerplay.
Finch's PP SR vs Teams in #IPL2020:
160.0 - MI
127.8 - KKR
114.3 - RR
100.0 - SRH
93.1 - KXIP
92.9 - DC
22.2 - CSK#RCBvKXIP
So, instead of taking the pressure off Kohli and de Villiers, Finch has only increased it further for them.
As a result, his poor returns at the start of the innings has had a direct impact on their scoring rate in the middle-overs (7-16) as well. In fact, Bangalore's batsmen have recorded a strike-rate of only 115.21 in the middle-overs and that is the least among all the teams during this phase of the innings.
Table: Batting strike-rate of different teams in the middle-overs (7-16) of Indian T20 League 2020
How to solve these issues?
Both of these issues have one common solution -- drop Finch and bring Moeen Ali in. The England all-rounder is known for his excellent scoring rate in the middle-overs and Bangalore can make good use of that to sort out their issues in this phase of the innings.
The guy who can up the ante in the middle overs for #RCB is on the bench - MOEEN ALI.— Stat Doctor🩺 (@stat_doctor) October 15, 2020
Since 2018, for batsmen facing 50 balls in the middle overs in IPL, Moeen has the third best strike-rate!#IPL2020 #RCBvsKXIP https://t.co/i9sGvvHoWJ pic.twitter.com/bwfnye6RsA
Ali has the third-best strike-rate among batsmen who have faced at least 50 deliveries in the middle-overs of the Indian T20 League since 2018. He can give Bangalore some much-needed impetus during these overs and that will help them to set things up in a much better way for the final assault in the death overs.
As far as the opening slot is considered, Kohli can move up to make up for Finch's absence. He has struggled to score in the middle-overs anyway, so opening will give him much more time to get his eye in and that will help him in scoring quicker with the field restrictions on in the powerplay as well. Moreover, Kohli has an excellent record while opening the innings in T20s. Kohli has batted a total of 67 times at the top of the order in his T20 career and has amassed 2537 runs in them at an excellent average and strike-rate of 46.12 and 140.87 respectively.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @IndianT20League