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All about having a field day

It's easy to attribute Royal Challengers Bangalore's successes over this season and the last to just one aspect of their game. After all, Chris Gayle's heroics are, unlike his Gangnam steps, nearly impossible to match. Kaushik Chatterji reports.

india Updated: May 06, 2013 02:31 IST
Kaushik Chatterji

It's easy to attribute Royal Challengers Bangalore's successes over this season and the last to just one aspect of their game. After all, Chris Gayle's heroics are, unlike his Gangnam steps, nearly impossible to match. Of course, AB de Villiers, with a strike rate of 160, just two shy of Gayle, might disagree. And Virat Kohli is a smash hit - on Youtube sure, but more so with the bat. And so far he has managed to keep the hits coming even while marshalling his troops.

Among the three of them, they have scored 1147 runs in the team's 11 innings. The only team with a trio of batsmen that beats the RCB triumvirate in aggregate is also the only team ahead of them in the points table - Chennai Super Kings. But even the combination of Mike Hussey, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni cannot match up to an average contribution of over 100 runs per team innings, or a strike rate of 150.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/5/06_05_13-metro18.gifRCB'S exploits

Little wonder then that RCB's exploits in the field are only casually observed but rarely written about. Two of the league's three highest wicket-taking bowlers - not just in this current edition, but across the six seasons of India's domestic T20 league - are leading the seam attack. With pacers R Vinay Kumar and RP Singh - and also Ravi Rampaul - firing, there's been no need for Daniel Vettori to do anything but warm the bench, except maybe to attend a press conference half an hour after its scheduled time!

But what wins tight games is the fielding. "You save the singles and twos, effect a run out and the pressure is on the opposition," said former India pacer and RCB bowling coach, Venkatesh Prasad on Sunday.

Having who he believes are the two best fielders "not just in this league, but world cricket right now" - de Villiers and Kohli - should come in handy against a Kings XI Punjab side quite used to low-scores - five of their 10 matches so far have not seen scores of more than 140.

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