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IPL 2017: Shane Watson reveals why Pawan Negi bowled last over to Rishabh Pant

RCB skipper's gamble paid off as Negi dismissed Pant to help the hosts win the game.

Watson Pant
Watson made the bold call to bring on Negi for the final over

What’s the story?

Having already bowled out Billy Stanlake, Tymal Mills, Yuzvendra Chahal and himself, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Shane Watson admitted that bringing on Pawan Negi to bowl the last over against Delhi Daredevils was a gamble. Although Negi dismissed Rishabh Pant and picked up two wickets for three runs to help RCB win, Watson said it was just his “gut feel” to bring on the left-arm spinner.

When asked about the interesting move to bring on Negi (who hadn't bowled an over until then) to bowl the last over of the innings to Rishabh Pant, Watson just laughed and retorted, “was it interesting” before going on to explain the reason behind the decision.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Watson said: “Just my gut feel with Negi. Pant hadn’t seen him all night. I knew if I had to bowl Iqbal, he had already seen him bowl three. So it was a gamble, no doubt about that. But I know the way Negi bowls, with his variations of speed and flight as well. He’s ready to take on especially against his old team so it worked out very nicely for him.”

Extra Cover: IPL 2017: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils, Who said what: World reacts as Rishabh Pant's heroics go in vain

The Context

Delhi Daredevils needed 19 to win off the last over and Pant was batting on 57 when the RCB captain, who had exhausted all his front-line bowlers barring Iqbal Abdullah, who had an over left, brought on Negi to bowl. The left-arm spinner hadn’t bowled at all until then but had to bowl the crucial final over.

The Details

With no option, aside from two left-arm spinners, Watson went with Negi, because he believed that Pant hadn’t seen him bowl and that worked in his favour as the youngster was bowled off the first ball, all but sealing the match in RCB’s favour. The left-arm spinner, who was released by Delhi Daredevils then picked up another wicket and helped RCB win their first match of IPL 2017 by 15 runs.

What’s next?

With a win under their belt and a defeat from their opening two games, RCB’s next assignment is on Monday (April 10) against Kings XI Punjab at Indore.

Author’s Take

In the fast-paced T20 format, you always have to think on your feet. Having exhausted all his other options, Watson went with Negi and reaped rich rewards in the form of their first win in IPL 2017. Those gambles work out sometimes and at other times, they don’t, but thankfully for RCB, it did on this occasion and they will look to continue with this winning momentum against Kings XI.

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