Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar looked mighty impressed after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) thrashed Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 10 wickets in match 16 of IPL 2021 in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.
The Virat Kohli-led side dismantled Rajasthan top-order after putting them to bat first. However, a 23-ball 40 from Rahul Tewatia helped them post 177/9 in their allotted 20 overs quota.
Rajasthan must have planned to put up a fight after gaining momentum towards the end of the first-half but what unfurled next left their captain Sanju Samson perplexed in the middle.
Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal stitched the highest (181) opening partnership for RCB and displayed a wide range of shots during their 16.3 overs stay. Runs in abundance were scored on both the sides of the wickets en route the 178-run chase.
32-year-old and arguably world’s best batsman Virat Kohli had to take the backseat in front of a 20-year-old free-slowing Devdutt Padikkal. He showed immense power while showcasing the general elegance of a left-hand batsman.
Padikkal, who had tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the tournament, completed his fifty in 27 balls and reached to the three-figure mark in 51 odd balls. Pulls, sweeps, cuts,and drives — all kinds of shots were on display from RCB in their first game of the season in the Maharashtra capital.
Kohli constructed his innings smartly and matched Padikkal’s pace towards the climax of the run-chase. The swashbuckling right-hander completed his 40th IPL fifty with a single before scoring a boundary towards deep fine leg to become the first player to score 6,000 runs in IPL.
“UNREAL, SUBLIME PERFORMANCE”
A delighted Sunil Gavaskar has stated that RCB in IPL 14 stands for ‘Real Challengers of Bangalore’, pointing out towards the team’s chances of winning their first-ever IPL trophy this season.
Further the 71-year-old praised Kohli and his opening partner Padikkal for smashing fours and sixes even on good deliveries from the Rajasthan bowlers. Gavaskar, the first player in the history of Test cricket to score 10,000 runs, expressed his awe for power, elegance and placement of the two RCB batsmen.
“I mean look at that, then right-hand left-hand combination. They just made lives difficult for Rajasthan Royals bowlers. To start with Padikkal was the one to take the initiative and allowed Virat Kohli just to settle down and after they were really looking to match each other’s stroke. It was delightful to watch as there was power, there was elegance, there was precise placement.
“Some deliveries were not bad but these guys were smashing them for boundaries and sixes. It was unreal sublime performance. And you know what, this time around when you look at that RCB, it stands for ‘Real Challengers of Bangalore’. All these years they have been okay but this time around they are real challengers of Bangalore,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports.
Unbeaten RCB reclaimed top spot in the 8-team points table after winning their 4th match on the trot. Notably, RCB, before this edition, had never managed to win their first three matches of a season.
The arrival of Glenn Maxwell has given more solidity to the RCB batting line-up, while the bowling unit without a famous name, has managed to deliver in crunch situations.
The team will next face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday.