Player battles are something teams focus on going into a T20 match and with so much data getting infused in the game, these matchups can be key to sway a result. It is often the best bowler going head-on against the best batter, like Sunil Narine getting the ball every time Glenn Maxwell comes out to bat. But sometimes some moves that won’t make sense to the common man watching on the television can be a punt made by the management, keeping in mind some data that may have popped up while analysing the opposition.
In this article, we are looking at four such matchups that could be key in the first match week of the second phase of the Indian T20 League 2021.
SUNIL NARINE vs GLENN MAXWELL
(Team Kolkata vs Team Bangalore)
Glenn Maxwell was in fine form in the first half of the Indian T20 League for his new franchise Team Bangalore. He was in the top ten run-getters of the competition and the highest run-getter for Team Bangalore so far. In their first match against Team Kolkata, he’ll be up against the mystery spin of Sunil Narine.
The off-spinner was off-colour in the first half but would be hoping to bounce back in this second phase. His record against the ‘Big Show’ Maxwell is an interesting one. In 11 innings, he may have got the better of Maxwell just twice but he has kept him at an unusual Maxwell strike rate of 118.2. The battle to look out for from this game will definitely be this.
DWAYNE BRAVO vs ROHIT SHARMA
(Team Chennai vs Team Mumbai)
Chennai against Mumbai has been the battle to follow in the previous few years in the Indian T20 League. A mini battle emerging in this is the matchup between Dwyane Bravo and Mumbai’s captain Rohit Sharma.
In 15 innings, Bravo has got Rohit’s number five times and the Hitman has struggled against the all-rounder from Trinidad and Tobago consistently. Sharma just strikes at over 113 against Bravo and averages just 16.4.
KL RAHUL vs CHETAN SAKARIYA
(Team Punjab vs Team Rajasthan)
KL Rahul has been a consistent run-getter in the Indian T20 League over the past few years. He yet again sits high up the top run-getter list and would be the one who Team Rajasthan would be wary of in this encounter. The answer to Rahul’s brilliance might just be the young and energetic left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya.
The pacer from Gujarat got Rahul out in the first match he played against him in the first phase and after the little international exposure he got on the Sri Lankan tour, he’d be a much-improved bowler. Watch out for Sakariya, KL Rahul!
PRITHVI SHAW vs BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR
(Team Delhi vs Team Hyderabad)
The pocket-sized dynamo Prithvi Shaw was in top form for the team sitting pretty at the top of the table, Team Delhi. Shaw showed all his shots in the first half and was the most devastating opening batter in the competition. Team Hyderabad would want to see the back of Shaw early in this game and Bhuvenshwar Kumar might just be the right man to counter Shaw’s strengths.
Kumar can swing the new ball and that is where Shaw struggles massively. In six matches against Bhuvi, Prithvi has got out to him twice and has an extremely high dot ball percentage of almost 63%.