Mumbai: Greetings readers, Thoughtyboy is back. A confident Thoughtyboy now because after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s horrid batting in the second match, I had truly lost face. No, I’m not part of RCB’s coaching staff – they don’t deserve to hire me actually. It’s just that my involvement in the IPL is expected to warm your evenings.
Let me confess I felt like switching off the telly before the first ball of yesterday’s tie between Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings. No Chris Gayle and Shahrukh Khan (the Punjab batsman) to deliver a rousing speech of “Sattar minute hai humare paas”.
Perhaps, Punjab could’ve done more with those stirring words. I couldn’t make sense of how they fluffed their lines after requiring only four off Kartik Tyagi’s last over chasing 185. I wonder how they will look Mayank Agarwal (43-ball 67) and KL Rahul (33-balll 49) in the eye.
Strange things happen in T20s, but Punjab makes it a habit of tripping over against RR.
All so puzzling
I had been asking myself what different could Rajasthan have done. I didn’t have the answer to why Mustafizur Rahman was held back when the contest was rapidly slipping away from RR after Punjab’s stupendous 100-run stand. Little did I know that an inexplicable twist awaited you and me. I’m relived the T20 order – which for me is a glut of runs and such insane finishes – had been restored. I need a day to understand how Punjab managed to blew it all. Maybe, a review of RR’s batting makes more sense.
The way Yashasvi Jaiswal collared Mohammed Shami in the first over, I sensed that a batting fest was in store. I’m a sucker for Evin Lewis’s carefree style. When these RR batters get going, they remind me of the Sri Lankan teams in the 90s. I shook a leg when Lewis went into overdrive, creaming Ishan Porel for 17th in the fourth over. When he departed slicing Arshdeep Singh to extra cover, and Sanju Baba (Samson) nicked off to Porel, I felt the jitters again. I couldn’t afford two consecutive bad days, lose my job, and the trust of you readers.
Let me digress here. If you must frame an image from the first session, it must that of an airborne Fabian Allen plucking Liam Livingstone’s catch inches off the ground at cow corner. Or should we go with Arshdeep Singh’s celebration, a flying kiss, after the wicket. Flying kisses are better than swear words, no?
Arshdeep, you beauty…
Credit to RR, and Jaiswal particularly, the scoring rate never dropped. Poor Jaiswal missed his 50, but Mahipal Lomror, flaying Deepak Hooda for 24 in the 16th over, motored along for an eye-filling 17-ball 43. If RR didn’t gallop past 200, PK owe it to Arshdeep’s five-for. He doesn’t have the pace or yorkers to spear in at will. Does it matter when you’ve such a smart cricketing brain and a bagful of tricks?
If Rohit Sharma captains India in T20Is, should KL Rahul be his deputy or Rishabh Pant?
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Will Sanju Samson always be a case of unfulfilled potential?
3. He is still young and has plenty of cricket left in him
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TEAM M W L PT
CSK 8 6 2 12
DC 8 6 2 12
RCB 8 5 3 10
MI 8 4 4 8
RR 8 4 4 8
KKR 8 3 5 6
PBKS 9 3 6 6
SRH 7 1 6 2
Rahul-Mayank century stands in IPL
183 v RR in 2020 (Lost)
115 v KKR in 2020 (Lost)
122 v DC in 2021 (Lost)
120 v RR in 2021 (Lost)
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