Virat Kohli defends Rajat Patidar: The captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore backed his rookie batsman after their third IPL 2021 loss.
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli admits that his team “got away from plans” as they failed to restrict Punjab Kings to “160”after reducing them to 118/5 in the 15th over at the Narendra Modi Stadium last night.
“They got off to a good start but we pulled things back somewhat after five down. Should have been chasing 160, when they were 116/5 , but we gave away 25-odd runs in the end. Focused too much on what the batters were doing. We got away from our plans. We gave too many bad balls for boundaries,” Kohli told Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.
In what looked like another batting collapse by Kings, captain Lokesh Rahul (91 not out) and all-rounder Harpreet Brar’s (25 not out) unbeaten 61-run partnership for the sixth wicket saw them setting a 180-run target against a dominating batting order.
This is KL Rahul at his very best 🔥
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 30, 2021
Virat Kohli defends Rajat Patidar batting at Number 3
Unlike Punjab, Bangalore didn’t acclimatize to the conditions as well as none of their batsmen went on to play an anchor role like Rahul. With Brar dismissing Kohli (35), all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (0) and wicket-keeper batsman AB de Villiers (3) in quick succession, Kings firmed their grip on the match.
“As batsmen, we could have tried different things early on. It was tough to hit through the line. It was all about trying to get a partnership and have a strike rate of more than 110. We were not able to do that as a batting unit. Just a few little tweaks we need to address going forward. There are areas we need to improve,” Kohli said.
Being asked about their batting order where an Indian batsman is usually made to bat at No. 3 ahead of the likes of Maxwell and de Villiers, Kohli defended the decision to send rookie batsman Rajat Patidar and didn’t appear to be promoting his overseas batsmen in the matches to come.
“The composition of our team is such that we give him [Rajat Patidar] the freedom to play at number 3. It’s [batting order] situational, this is a good balance for our batting line up. Rajat is a quality player, just that tonight wasn’t his night,” Kohli added.
Despite RCB losing by 34 runs yesterday, they should back their strategy of playing an Indian batsman at No. 3 as suggested in our pre-season probable Playing XI. Other than Patidar, all-rounders Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Ahmed have also batted at No. 3 this season.
If Patidar’s 71 runs in four innings at an average and strike rate of 17.75 and 114.51 respectively concerns RCB, they have the option of playing either one out of Mohammed Azharuddeen or Sachin Baby in their next match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue on Monday.