Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli has blamed it on his bowlers after their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday, stating they didn’t show much courage with the ball.
West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo earned the Player-of-the-Match award for a match-changing spell that lifted Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League yesterday. Bravo took 3-24 and RCB suffered a batting meltdown and were restricted to 156 for six after they were put into bat following a sandstorm, which delayed the start of play at the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium.
CSK chased down the target in 18.1 overs with six wickets in hand and pocketed two more points to move back to the top of the eight-team table. Devdutt Padikkal led the way with 70 from 50 balls and fellow opener Virat Kohli scored 53 from 41 balls, and RCB were comfortably placed on 111 without loss after 13 overs. Defending 156/6, the RCB bowlers could pick only four CSK wickets with all of them conceding more than six runs an over. Sri Lankan Wanindu Hasaranga was the costliest bowler among the six used giving away 40 runs in his four overs without taking a wicket.
“Didn’t bowl consistently. Didn’t show that much courage I guess with the ball. They bowled well in the back end of the innings, executed the slower balls and yorkers nicely. We spoke of areas we didn’t want them to hit and we didn’t do that. That little bit of X factor was missing in the first 5-6 overs,” Kohli said after the match. While Virat Kohli, for whom this will be the last IPL as Royal Challengers Captain, returned to form with a 41-ball 53 alongside fellow opener Devdutt Padikkal (70), none of the RCB batsmen including AB de Villers and Glenn Maxwell could really make an impact with the bat. Kohli felt RCB were 15-20 runs short.
“The wicket did slow down a bit. But I feel we left 15-20 runs out there. 175 would’ve been a winning total,” added the 32-year-old Kohli before quickly stating RCB needs to get back to winning ways. “Got to get on that winning run again. This one is a bit more disappointing. The first one we just weren’t in the game. Have to show more courage in crunch moments. This tournament goes by quickly.” With this loss, RCB has lost all their last seven IPL matches in UAE.
Bravo made the breakthrough when he dismissed Kohli to a fine catch in the deep from Ravindra Jadeja and no other RCB batsman could match the flow of their opening pair. CSK opening pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis set the tone for their side’s chase with a stand of 71. Gaikwad fell to a stunning catch by Kohli off Yuzvendra Chahal and Glenn Maxwell got du Plessis in the next over.
Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu then joined forces and put on a quick-fire 47-run stand to get CSK back on track, but they have dismissed either side of the strategic time out to slow things down. Suresh Raina and skipper MS Dhoni then shared an unbroken 24-run stand and took CSK home.
All-rounder Shardul Thakur also scalped two crucial wickets and Simons said that the Palghar boy was very smart in the way he used his tactics and ability to read the wicket and the batsman and the (game) situation. Simons also said that the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led outfit had learned their lesson after a horrendous show in the 2020 edition, which was also held in the UAE. “We have already spoken about what worked for us in India during the first half of the IPL (2021). We spoke about what we did wrong here (in the United Arab Emirates last time). You know any situation, often the bad performance is the best place to learn,” Simons said.