The third match of the new Indian Premier League season was yesterday between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders who were playing at their home. The match ultimately ended in the favour of Dinesh Karthik and Co. with KKR registering a comprehensive victory over the Bengaluru based franchise.
Here are the five major talking points from the game:
● Weak finish from RCB:
Inspite of getting off to a good start, Royal Challengers could only reach to a total of 176 in their 20 overs. Though they opted for three overseas batsmen in their top four and two of their top four batsmen scored 40+, despite this, RCB was unable to put something challenging on the board. This shows that RCB is not well equipped with finishers. Mandeep managed to score some useful runs in the end, but that was never going to be enough, as there was no support from the other end.
● Dinesh Karthik’s captaincy:
This match was also a litmus test for Dinesh Karthik, the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders. He was expected to fill up the shoes of a leader like Gautam Gambhir, which is never easy. However, he looked calm and composed, and someone who is ready to take up the challenge. Chopping and changing the bowlers through out the innings has been a hallmark of his leadership. Also, he is someone who is ready to gamble at any point. He gave the 15th over to someone like Nitish Rana, a part timer, who eventually took the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and dangerous looking AB de Villiers. Thus, restricting the flow of runs scored by RCB.
● Sunil Narine the X-factor:
The man from the Caribbean, Sunil Narine has been the X-factor of the game. With the ball in his hand, he picked up a wicket conceding 30 runs in his 4 overs. He has been far more brilliant with the bat, scoring 50 of just 19 deliveries. His blistering knock was the key to the run chase. Not only that if he can continue the good work with bat, then KKR will have a great balance, allowing them to play a floater in form of Rinku Singh or anyone else.
● RCB’s poor show with the ball:
RCB is one of the star franchises of the IPL. Yet they are to win their maiden title. This is majorly because of their bowling line-up. However, this season the team management was confident of doing something great with the bowling department as well. But yesterday’s match did not go the way they intended. Even, their veteran spinner Chahal went pretty expensive. This shows that Ashish Nehra, the bowling coach, has a lot of works to do in this hand.
● KKR’s sluggish finish:
KKR started the chase remarkably well with Sunil Narine getting off to a flier. With that kind of a start it was expected that KKR would finish the task within 16th over. However, in reality, they lost wickets frequently, and dragged the game into the 19th over. KKR needs to improve this aspect of the game, as in close encounters they can certainly move onto back foot. Even if they are winning it, then they are not being to get an advantage in terms of net run rate.