After Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) succumbed to their second loss of the season, captain Virat Kohli called Rajat Patidar a 'quality player' and explained why he bats ahead of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers.
Chasing 180 for a victory against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Ahmedabad, Patidar walked out to bat in the third over but got off to a slow start. He got out in the 15th over, managing just 31 off 30. By then, the required run-rate had soared to over 17 per over.
Nevertheless, Virat Kohli backed the move to send Patidar at no. 3 and cited the balance of the team composition as the reason for the same. He said in this regard:
“The composition of our team is such that someone like Rajat Patidar bats at three. If you see the last game, he controlled the game for us. We give him that freedom to play at no. 3, and sometimes it doesn’t work out. Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) and AB (AB de Villiers) at 4 and 5 has worked well for us; when there’s a partnership early, one of them will come off. It didn’t work today, but Rajat’s a quality player."
Virat Kohli also added that RCB are flexible in their approach, and in case of a good start from the openers, Maxwell or ABD will get promoted.
Meanwhile, Patidar had a good Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2020-21 campaign for Madhya Pradesh, scoring 221 runs at an average of 44.2 and a strike rate of 153.5. RCB picked the 27-year-old in the mini-auction earlier this year, at his base price of INR 20 lakhs.
We gave away 25-odd runs extra: Virat Kohli
On a surface not too well-suited for batting, Virat Kohli lamented giving away 25 runs extra. Led by an in-form KL Rahul, PBKS plundered 40 runs off Harshal Patel’s last two overs.
“They got off to a good start, but we pulled things back somewhat after five down. We should have been chasing 160 when they were 118 for 5, but we gave away 25-odd runs in the end. We focused too much on what the batters were doing and got away from our plans. We gave too many bad balls for boundaries,” Virat Kohli added.
Critical of his top order, Virat Kohli said that his batters could have tried something different, as it was tough to hit through the line and maintain a strike rate of at least 110.
Struggling at 96 for seven in the 16th over, RCB were helped to a respectable score of 145 courtesy a 23-ball 48-run eighth-wicket stand between Harshal Patel and Kyle Jamieson.
While acknowledging the efforts of the duo, Virat Kohli said that there are a few areas his team will need to improve:
“In the end, we gave away 25 runs too many. One wicket there, and we could have squeezed them. We couldn’t execute our plans. We got some runs nicely as Harshal and Jamieson hit a few runs towards the end. The margin could have been a bigger one otherwise. A loss by 60-65 runs would’ve hurt more in terms of the net run rate. We understand the areas where we lost momentum and need to work on those,” said Virat Kohli.
With five wins and two defeats, RCB remain in third position in the points table. They face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the same venue in Ahmedabad on Monday. In their last game, RCB comfortably beat KKR in Chennai.