RCB vs KKR: Massive victory for Kolkata
By Vadiraj Kanakagiri
After his decision to step down from captaincy after this season, he would've hoped for an inspired performance from the team, not least from himself. But as it turned out, except the toss, everything went haywire for Virat Kohli and RCB.
RCB has a weird relationship with this change in an outfit every year. If we consider Earth's layers as a means to map out fans' emotions on these games, RCB takes us to the center of the innermost core with its breathtaking performances on certain occasions and bulldozes us out of the crust with awful displays on others. But if you've been a RCB fan for long enough, yesterday's game wouldn't have hurt you so bad, as we've been through this one too many times for it hurt our feelings.
Deciding to bat first Kohli walked out with the young gun Padikkal to open. After playing the first over cautiously, Kohli creamed a gorgeous cover drive, which would've made the purists jump in joy. On the very next delivery, the tall lanky pacer Prasidh Krishna corrected his line and trapped his Indian skipper right in front. Umpire had no doubts about raising his finger and Kohli wasted a review on the way to the pavilion. Padikkal and the debutant KS Bharat showed some intent and got a few boundaries away before Padikkal edged one to the keeper DK on the last delivery of the power play.
Then came the spinster Varun Chakravarthy, who rattled the RCB batters with his variations. He in tandem with the veteran Sunil Narine squeezed the RCB batting unit and gave nothing away, which resulted in the collapse that followed.
All the hopes were pinned on ABD to steady the ship and take the team total to some sort of respectability, but Andre Russell had other ideas. Dre Russ fired in a Yorker on leg stump, which hit AB's pad and ricocheted onto the stumps .Aussie import, Glenn Maxwell struggled hard for his 10 off 17 deliveries, who couldn't even put the free hit away. Chakravarthy ran through the side by cleaning up Maxwell and trapping Hasaranga in front for a golden duck on consecutive deliveries. He was also involved in a run out of Jamieson and quite fittingly took the catch of last batter, Mohammed Siraj, to complete his day out on the field.
Chasing a small target, KKR went hard right from the start. In this innings, Debutant Venkatesh Iyer made a name for himself as a hard hitter by blasting 41 with 7 fours and a six. His innings included the drives, pulls, sweeps,reverse sweeps and switch hits, letting everyone know of the shots in his armory. Indian star, Shubman Gill gave him good company, as he didn't fall behind himself, scoring 48 aggressive runs before holing out at long-off, trying to reach his fifty with a six. Gill more than made up for the criticism he faced for batting too slowly up top in the previous leg in India.
All in all, it was a drubbing, if ever there was one for RCB. Fortunately, they're still at the third position in the table thanks to some impressive performances in India earlier this year and need to bounce back strong in the next game to set the ball rolling here in Dubai.