New Delhi, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had been struggling to find a frontline pace bowler to support their spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar in the early part of the IPL 2020. The team had also been struggling to stem the flow of runs at the death.
In their first five games, they had conceded 200 runs or thereabouts on three occasions. After the match against Delhi Capitals on October 5 in Sharjah, skipper Virat Kohli had said that they’d need the services of South African pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Morris and things will change when he’d join for the next match after recovering from injury.
Enter Morris and RCB’s fortunes change.
Thanks to his bowling, they have been able to restrict their next opponents — Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders — to register convincing wins and enter the top three in the points table. They are separated from second-placed Delhi Capitals only by net run rate.
Morris took 3/19 in four overs against CSK while he returned with figures of 2/17 against KKR on Monday night. His confidence has rubbed on to young pacer Navdeep Saini who has also done well to contain the batsmen.
Morris’s wickets against CSK included those of Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo whereas against KKR, his victims included the tail. In both the games, he was able to bring down the scoring rate by not allowing the batters to score freely.
The right-arm pacer has been used intelligently by his skipper in both the games – Kohli has split his overs in three phases. Morris bowled the first over in both the games. Then he was brought in for an over of two in the middle and then an over or two towards the end.
Against KKR, he bowled the 1st, 13th, 15th and the 19th whereas against CSK, he had bowled 1st, 10th, 17th and 19th overs.
“I was very nervous, it has been a while since I last played a game, so I was very nervous, I had butterflies in my stomach, it was like I was making my Test debut again. Happy to get on the park, it is a good feeling,” said Morris in a press conference after the games against CSK.