Rajasthan Royals during their match against Gujarat Titans. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra has advised the Rajasthan Royals (RR) to replace Trent Boult with a proper bowling option against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), in case the New Zealand left-arm seamer is unavailable for Monday’s IPL 2022 match.
Rajasthan will take on Kolkata in the 30th match of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. The major headache for RR ahead of the clash is regarding the availability of Boult. He missed the previous match after suffering a niggle during a practice session. He was replaced by countryman James Neesham, who could not make an impact as Rajasthan went down against the Gujarat Titans (GT) by 37 runs.
Previewing the RR versus KKR contest, Chopra stated that the Royals need to be smarter when it comes to utilizing their bowling resources. Speaking on his YouTube channel, he said:
“I feel Rajasthan need to make a little change. Obed McCoy should play instead of Jimmy Neesham if Trent is unavailable because only a bowler can do a bowler’s job. Don’t try getting it done from someone else.”
Chopra opined that playing Neesham in place of a bowler significantly weakens the RR attack and literally reduces them to four bowlers. The cricketer-turned-analyst explained:
“Remember, Kuldeep Sen is only a couple games old. Then, there is Prasidh Krishna and two spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin. The latter has not been picking too many wickets for the last two seasons, though he has been economical.”
RR conceded 192 for four, bowling first against GT in their previous match. Kuldeep Sen conceded 51 in his four overs while Prasidh Krishna and Ravichandran Ashwin returned wicketless.
“They looked a bit clueless without Trent Boult” – Aakash Chopra on RR’s loss to GT
Analyzing Rajasthan’s performance in their previous IPL 2022 match, Chopra claimed that they looked out of shape without Boult. The 44-year-old elaborated:
“In Rajasthan’s last game, we saw how much difference one player’s absence can make. They looked a bit clueless without Trent Boult. They played Jimmy Neesham and the bowling looked a bit weak. Neesham also bowled the first over and conceded three fours. Ashwin was sent up the order. It seemed like they were confused.”
Speaking about Monday’s match between Rajasthan and Kolkata, he predicted a close contest as both sides have tasted defeat in recent matches. Chopra concluded by saying:
“Expect a close game as both sides have faced defeat in recent times. Rajasthan were at No.1 at one point, but the absence of Boult forced a change in strategy and they didn’t look that strong. As for Kolkata, they were brilliantly bounced out by Hyderabad.”
Rajasthan are presently in fifth position in the points table with three wins and two losses. Kolkata, meanwhile, are sixth with three victories and as many losses.