Bowling coach Shane Bond has implored the Mumbai Indians to adapt quickly against Kings XI Punjab batsman KL Rahul during Thursday's Indian Premier League fixture in Abu Dhabi.
Rahul has been in superb form in the IPL 2020, hitting 21, 132 not out and 69. He has been well supported by fellow opener Mayank Agarwal, who has also collected a century this tournament.
“We know KL is a dynamic player who scores all around the ground. We also know that he takes his time generally through the middle overs, so that's perhaps an opportunity if he gets that far to create that pressure on him,” said Bond.
“It comes down to if you have to change your pace, go wide or straighter, depending on the pitch and conditions, the boundaries. So we talk about them. I think the yorker is one of the many balls fast bowlers have in their armoury.
“Abu Dhabi has got big square boundaries and the pitches are on the slower side. So you could argue that a length ball or a slower bouncer is harder to hit for six rather than perhaps taking pitch out of play, miss your yorker and get hit back over your head.”
The Mumbai bowling attack is laden with international stars, including Indian Jasprit Bumrah, New Zealander Trent Boult, West Indian Kieron Pollard and Australian James Pattinson. They are, however, without Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga. He withdrew participation before the IPL 2020 started.
“Fast bowlers need to show adaptability – quickly – in the face of changing surfaces in the UAE as IPL 2020 progresses, according to Shane Bond, the Mumbai Indians bowling coach, who has been spending a lot of time with his bowling group as the team looks to rebound after two losses in their first three matches.
“We have to adapt as quickly as we possibly can. We have a simple theory: we try to bowl seven metres as a fast-bowling group, five metres as a spin-bowling group from the batsman. We practise those lengths consistently. Regardless of the pitch and conditions, if you are in those areas, you are in the right slots,” added Bond.
Mumbai won the IPL in 2012 and 2014.