Is Alzarri Joseph A Risky Investment For RCB In IPL 2024?

- Cricket - December 20, 2023
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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made headlines in the IPL 2024 Auction by splurging Rs 11.50 crore on West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph, who was released by the Gujarat Titans (GT) after a disappointing season. Joseph, who had played a key role in GT’s maiden IPL title in 2022, failed to replicate his form in 2023 and was deemed surplus to requirements by the Ahmedabad-based franchise.

While Joseph is undoubtedly a talented bowler with pace and bounce, he may not be the best fit for RCB, who have a history of making poor decisions in the auction. Here are three reasons why Joseph could prove to be a bad signing for RCB in IPL 2024:

# 1 Inconsistent Performances In IPL

Joseph has had a roller-coaster ride in his IPL career so far. He made a sensational debut for Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2019, picking up six wickets for just 12 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the best figures in IPL history. However, he went wicketless in his next two matches and was ruled out of the tournament due to injury.

He was then bought by GT in 2020 for Rs 2.4 crore and played a vital role in their title triumph in 2022, taking 14 wickets in 16 matches at an economy of 7.85. However, he lost his mojo in 2023, managing only nine wickets in 14 matches at an economy of 9.33. He was also expensive in the death overs, leaking runs at 11.66 per over in the last five overs of the innings.

Joseph’s IPL record so far is 29 wickets in 35 matches at an average of 28.86 and an economy of 8.77, which is not very impressive for a bowler of his caliber and price tag.

# 2 Injury-Prone and Lack of Match Practice

Joseph has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, which have hampered his progress and consistency. He suffered a stress fracture in his back in 2017, which kept him out of action for almost a year. He then injured his shoulder while fielding in his second IPL match for MI in 2019, which ruled him out of the World Cup later that year.

He also missed the home series against Sri Lanka in March 2021 due to a toe injury and was sidelined for the T20 World Cup in October-November 2021 due to a hamstring strain. He has not played any competitive cricket since September 2021, when he featured in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

Joseph’s lack of match practice and fitness could be a major concern for RCB, who would want him to be available and in form for the entire season.

# 3 Unsuitable for Indian Conditions and RCB’s Home Ground

Joseph is a bowler who relies on pace and bounce to trouble the batsmen, which are not the ideal attributes for bowling in Indian conditions, where the pitches are generally slow and low. He may find it hard to adjust to the subcontinental tracks, where he would need to vary his pace, length, and line more often.

Moreover, Joseph may not enjoy bowling at RCB’s home ground, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, which is known for its small boundaries and flat pitch. The stadium has been a nightmare for bowlers, especially pacers, who have conceded runs at 8.88 per over and taken wickets at 32.88 apiece in IPL history.

Joseph’s economy rate at the Chinnaswamy Stadium is 10.66, which is the worst among all the venues where he has played more than one IPL match. He has also taken only three wickets in four matches at the venue, at an average of 46.33.

Joseph may struggle to contain the batsmen at RCB’s home ground, where he would need to bowl with more accuracy and variation.

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