KXIP player (2R) greet RCB batsmen after RCB won the match with 4 wickets in hand during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on April 13, 2018. 
RCB chased a target of 156 runs scored by KXIP. / AFP PHOTO / Manjunath KIRAN / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT
KXIP player (2R) greet RCB batsmen after RCB won the match with 4 wickets in hand during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on April 13, 2018. RCB chased a target of 156 runs scored by KXIP. / AFP PHOTO / Manjunath KIRAN / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT

Royal Challengers Bangalore finally opened their account in IPL 2018 by defeating Kings XI Punjab by four wickets. Punjab fought well but fell short in the end against a rampaging and charged up RCB and lost their first match of the season. Virat Kohli won the toss and predictably elected to field first and despite some early fireworks, Bangalore pulled things back nicely and made a statement that they have come to play.

Here are the five takeaways from RCB’s win over KXIP:

1. Umesh Yadav striking big and proving a point:

AFP Photo
AFP Photo

Indian speedster Umesh Yadav has not had a great 2018 so far as the pacer has been out of Indian team despite being part of the squad and only been carrying drinks. The frustration and agony worked for Yadav as he bowled with pace and venom and got three wickets in a single over to begin Punjab’s slide. Punjab were 32/0 after three overs and were staring at a big total. Yadav then proved his worth by picking up wickets of Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, and Yuvraj Singh and brought RCB right back into the game.

Umesh Yadav always had pace, but this season he looks focussed and is determined to lead the attack. A fit and firing Yadav is a good news for India and Kohli would pray that his form continues.

2. Why is Yuvraj Singh looking jaded and out of form?:

File Photo
File Photo

India’s champion player and show stopper Yuvraj Singh again had a poor outing and from a distance, it is looking like that something is not right with this talented batsman. After struggling in the first match against Delhi and scoring 12 off 22 balls, the Punjab player got out for four runs and was castled by Yadav.

IPL is very ruthless and your reputation doesn’t count much and Yuvraj has to pull up his socks and play like a senior batsman. Yuvraj just has to take a deep breath and enjoy his cricket and runs will automatically flow.

3. KL Rahul-Karun Nair partnership and RCB’s fightback:

AFP Photo
AFP Photo

Many people forget that both KL Rahul and Karun Nair play their domestic cricket for Karnataka and when the two of them were batting together against RCB, it felt strange. After losing three quick wickets both of them had a partnership of 58 runs and it looked liked Kings were coming back into the match.

Bangalore’s bowling has always been talked about as their weakness and Virat Kohli was adamant that things will change during this season and finally his bowlers backed him up. RCB bowlers bowled with a game plan and apart from Yadav (3/23), all other bowlers chipped in and restricted Punjab to 155.

4. RCB’s iffy beginning and King Kohli’s rare failure:

AFP Photo
AFP Photo

When RCB were asked to chase 156, the consensus was that Punjab were may be 20 runs short and the match may be one-sided. But, Kings XI Punjab got the big scalp of Kiwi basher Brendon McCullum in the first over and then came the biggest shock of the match. RCB’s captain and heartthrob Virat Kohli came to the crease and was bowled by Afghanistan teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 21 runs. After Kohli’s wicket there was a pin drop silence at Chinnaswamy and Bangalore were in a precarious position at 33/2.

5. Bangalore’s adopted son showing his regal class:

AFP Photo
AFP Photo

Who is Bangalore’s adopted son? Its Virat, isn’t it? No, the answer is South African AB de Villiers. The Protea power player once again oozed class and took RCB to the home for yet another time. AB scored crucial 57 runs off 40 balls and was the glue that held the innings together amid wickets falling at the other hand.

The once in a generation player played his typical innings and again proved that there is no substitute for class and experience.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in