RCB vs LSG: Fast and furious Mayank, Rahul trying too hard, Green goes red, and more

Mayank, fast, furious and fiery

The graph of Mayank Yadav continues to rise. After rattling Punjab Kings on his IPL debut, he hustled and harassed RCB batsmen. Poor Cameron Green—his bad day getting worse—an utter brute devoured him. He not only bowled faster than light but produced a shade of inward movement from hard length. Green just thrust his bat in hope more than anything else and ended up playing down the wrong line. At this pace, batsmen tend to play him off the back-foot, allowing the extra split second to judge the length. But it is doubtful whether it helped Green—at his pace, which is 150kph, a batsman has approximately 0.4 seconds to judge the line, the length, decide on a shot, and play it—who looked as pale as a ghost as he walked back. It might have taken him a few replays to figure out exactly what just happened to the ball that was just coming towards them. The impetus on the ball was such that it sped to the fence after disarraying the stumps. But it was not pace alone—but stifling precision and length—that made Mayank a special talent.

Green goes red

Cameron Greene’s all-round utility has yet to take off in white-ball cricket, despite the incredible sum his name commanded in the auction. He leaks 9.8 runs an over in T20s and he was yet again expensive, his first two overs, costing 25 including a 19-run one. Two of the sixes off that over came from benign full tosses, which Quinton de Kock and Marcus Stoinis were in no generous mood to let go unpunished. Locating the ideal length has been his bane. A tall bowler capable of extracting bounce off good length, he prefers a fuller length, which without any lateral movement from the surface (which is rarer than ring galaxies in IPL), is easy fodder to batsmen, not least destructive-minded ones like de Kock and Stoinis. To think RCB coughed up for Rs 17.5 crore on him—well it was RCB and hence not quite shocking.

Rahul, trying too hard

KL Rahul is still feeling his way back to competitive cricket. His 14-ball 20 was typical of someone who is still reacquainting with the tenor of the game. He was not scratchy but not fluent either. The first 10 balls bore him just six runs. Then he struck a pair of sixes. The first six was a pearler, swinging the left-handed Yash Dayal from around the stumps over his head with terrific bat speed. More than his timing, it was his power that stood out. Followed a swept-six of Glenn Maxwell, again it was raw force that stood out. Then like most batsmen on comeback trying too hard to make an impact, he tried to slog-sweep, a bit too hard, and ended up horribly miscuing it. He was gutted, and as he walked back he shadow-batted a straight drive. Perhaps a straight-batted stroke could have yielded a better result. But his muscle memory is just kicking back to full life.

Quinton special

Festive offer

It’s a Quinton de Kock special, the pick-up short behind square-leg off good-length balls. He shapes for the flick, shifts slightly across, lowers his body a bit to stabilise his base, and then whips the ball with a brisk swirl of his wrists, a blend of violence and timing. The Mohammed Siraj delivery had just marginally erred in length, the line was not too awry either, but de Kock judged the length perfectly and was ready for the stroke. The stroke delighted him too, as he flashed a smile, coming as this from a batsman thrifty with his expression. He celebrated the shot with another pick-up shot, even better as he picked this from the middle stump.

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