Comparing two top order batsmen is an almost impossible task. While one may be good with consistency, the other may play more match-winning innings. Such is the case with two of the Royal Challengers’ big guns – Jamaican-born Chris Gayle and the Indian vice-captain Virat Kohli. No one could have imagined the amount of chemistry they both would bring, when they’re on the pitch for the same side.
Individually, of course, no one can doubt their capabilities:
A big hitter of the ball, in fact the biggest hitter of the ball, he torments the bowlers everytime he’s on the pitch. The captain’s face says it all when he has to pick someone to face the big man, as he knows whoever he picks, the ball will be launched out of the stadium. People who say cricket is not a one-man game were proved wrong last year, when Gayle powered RCB through to the final but faltered at the final step. Even the day the rest of the team doesn’t get going, it all comes down to him, as he is that sort of a player who can get a good total on the board just by his individual performance. A few more crucial innings by him could well see the men from Bangalore walking off with the trophy that they’ve been craving since the first four seasons.
Mr. Consistent has’nt been too consistent this time around. Starting off horribly, there was a question mark surrounding his position in the team. More so because his style of play is such that it’s usually very difficult to get him to make the long walk back to the pavilion. But more recently, he has stepped up to the task and helped make the ever-reliable AB De Villiers‘s job easier. Once he gets someone to strike a partnership with, he knows how to take the game from there. His main quality being maturity, he doesn’t get carried away if the batsman at the other end is going bananas smashing the ball. He knows his game well, he knows what he has to do and he knows how to get the win.
A few days back, the crowd at the Ferozshah Kotla got to see an amazing sight. An interesting game was expected but what they saw was a partnership that very few T20′s have seen earlier. Gayle and Kohli, one in sublime form and the other struggling to find form – few would have thought they would see the two put up a 200-run stand for the 2nd wicket to power RCB to 215, which ultimately proved to be a match-winning total. Gayle played his usual blistering innings, smashing 128 off 62 while Kohli provided stability with 72 off 53 deliveries. It just shows that if both batsmen get going, they know how to synchronize with each other’s game which can prove to be a deadly blow to the opposition.
What to expect:
A few more wins strung together is all the Challengers will have on their mind. Though they would want every batsman as well as bowler to do their job, there is a lot of responsibility on these two. If the two continue wreaking havoc the way they have started doing, RCB can really challenge for the trophy. And if they go at it collectively, then the other teams really have a task on hand.