KPL 2018: Mysuru veterans prove T20 not a young man's game
They might call it the youngster's format, but T20s have always seen clutch performances from the 'veterans', as they call them. The Mysuru Warriors, playing their first game of Karnataka Premier League 2018, were steered to victory by the collective might of two of its most experienced performers.
Rajoo Bhatkal played his first-ever T20 game before India even played (and won) the inaugural World T20 in 2007. That's how far back his experience goes.
On Monday, playing alongside Verma, Bhatkal shared a 91-run stand and ensured that the Warriors cruised to a victory over the Ballari Tuskers. He reasoned the understanding between the players on how far back the duo go while playing with each other and bestowed praise on Amit Verma, who ended with a 46-ball 59.
"We've been playing since the U-16 days together so it brought back those memories - what a special player he (Amit Verma) is, he took the pressure off me by scoring 20 odd runs in the over and that set the game for us", Bhatkal told Sportskeeda after the end of the game.
Having starred in the previous editions of KPL and played alongside Virat Kohli at the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Bhatkal was back to doing what he does best, giving the ball a hard tonk.
Verma returned the favour, conceding that 'it is amazing to bat with Rajoo'.
"He takes the pressure off by taking those fantastic strokes - he's the ability to clear the boundary and score runs at will. I've returned to the Warriors after three years and batting with him is amazing".
Verma's leg-spin couldn't get any returns, but with the bat, he went after the Tuskers' bowling from the word go. He revealed that the wicket was two-paced, so the plan was to accelerate early.
"I told Rajoo we have to get as many runs in the first six overs because it is going to be really difficult after that. We aimed for 50 runs in six overs."
It ended with a comfortable seven-wicket win for the Warriors and a Man of the Match award for Verma. The satisfaction was writ large on his face - Mysuru fans would be hoping that it stays for a long time.