BENGALURU: In the past few seasons, Royal Challengers Bangalore have been dubbed as a team whose fortunes are overly dependent on their two stars, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. There is no denying the fact that the two have been extremely influential a number of times. But things have looked a tad different in IPL 2021. The team is no longer dependent on them alone.
The bowlers have come to the party this season, and Glenn Maxwell has shown a lot of maturity on a number of occasions. He has shouldered responsibility as the No 4. The Australian has been a major reason for Bangalore’s success this season so far. All these factors were at play as Kohli’s men defeated Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in Dubai on Wednesday. With this win, the franchise has strengthened its position in the race for the play-offs with 14 points.
The bowling unit, too, has been spot on. They dismissed a solid team like Mumbai Indians for 111 runs in their last game. They brought that confidence into Wednesday’s game against Rajasthan. Though they were taken to the cleaners by Evin Lewis as Rajasthan were 56/0 in six overs, the bowlers piled pressure after the powerplay and Rajasthan went from 100/1 to 127/6. They finally restricted Sanju Samson’s men to 149/9 in 20 overs. Bangalore reached the target in the 18th over.
Yuzvendra Chahal took 2/18 in his four overs and once again showed why he was extremely unfortunate to be overlooked for the Indian squad at the T20 World Cup. Chasing a tricky score, Kohli got off to a solid start, hitting Chris Morris for three fours in the first over. Kohli’s partner Devdutt Padikkal was also playing his role to perfection, scoring quickly.
They were 48/0 in 5 overs, but in a span of 10 balls, both the openers were back in the dugout. It was a tricky situation but KS Bharat (44) and Maxwell showed great composure. One of the best things about the victory over Rajasthan is the number of players who contributed in their respective departments. Harshal Patel’s bowling at the death and Chahal taking wickets in the middle overs are huge positives. Besides Maxwell, KS Bharat, who has been a regular feature in the second leg, also contributed with 44.
Brief scores: RR 149/9 IN 20 ovs (Lewis 58, Jaiswal 31; Patel 3/34) lost to RCB 153/3 in 17.1 ovs (Maxwell 50 n.o., Bharat 44; Rahman 2/20).