IPL 2024: You might be surprised, RCB's bowling unit can lift the trophy, says Irfan Pathan

With Indian Premier League (IPL) legend Virat Kohli leading them, the focus is always on Royal Challenger Bangalore's (RCB) batting,

Mumbai, March 9 (IANS) With Indian Premier League (IPL) legend Virat Kohli leading them, the focus is always on Royal Challenger Bangalore’s (RCB) batting, but former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes the bowling unit of the current squad can help RCB lift the trophy in the 2024 edition in the premier T20 League set to start on March 22.

With RCB set to start their campaign against defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2024 lung-opener at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the focus is on both teams as they get ready to set the ball rolling.

In exclusive interviews with Star Sports on the show ‘Game Plan’, former cricketers Matthew Hayden and Irfan Pathan shared their insights on the upcoming IPL 2024 season, focusing on RCB and CSK, as they face each other in the tournament opener on March 22. Hayden discussed Kohli’s leadership with RCB, highlighting the team’s batting strength and the importance of their bowling unit in clinching their maiden IPL trophy. Meanwhile, Pathan analyzed RCB’s chances, emphasizing the team’s improved batting lineup and the potential impact of their express pace bowlers on flat pitches like Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

Pathan spoke on Kohli’s chances to win his maiden IPL trophy with RCB this year. “Now that he’s got a team, as far as the batting is concerned, I really feel the batting has got longer now, which wasn’t the case some time ago. And at the same time, a lot of people are not giving RCB a chance because they think their bowling is not the same,” he told Star Sports.

“I also think the bowling could have been better, but what they’ve done is they’ve got express pace on that pitch. If you can bowl 140+ consistently on pitches that are flat like Chinnaswamy’s pitch, sometimes it might work. You might be surprised that this bowling unit and this unit can lift the trophy. For Virat Kohli, it will be a very special moment because he’ll be wanting it since 2008 but he hasn’t been able to touch that trophy,” said Irfan Pathan.

Hayden also spoke about RCB’s chances for this IPL. He said, “Virat, the way he operated in 2023, was second only behind his 16 seasons so it wasn’t just runs, it was strike rate at the top. But when you question why always RCB are the perennial bridesmaid in this tournament is how they are going to defend at home. It doesn’t matter if you get 300 runs when it comes to Chinnaswamy stadium, so it matters how to get people out in those conditions consistently.”


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