"People think he can't hit it long" - Faf du Plessis praises RCB's Shahbaz Ahmed after highest score vs RR

Faf du Plessis-led RCB secured their second win on the trot (Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Faf du Plessis-led RCB secured their second win on the trot (Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Ankush Das

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Faf du Plessis lauded young Shahbaz Ahmed, who forged a crucial partnership with Dinesh Karthik to secure their second win of IPL 2022.

The young all-rounder from Bengal so far has justified his selection in the playing XI. He made two significant contributions to lift RCB's middle order after a top-order failure.

After a steady 20-ball 27 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Ahmed produced a masterclass on Tuesday, scoring a 26-ball 45, decorated with four boundaries and three sixes.

Take a bow, Shahbaz Ahmed ๐Ÿ‘ #RCBvRR

Praising the youngster, Faf du Plessis said that Ahmed can hit the ball long despite having a lean physique. At the post-match presentation ceremony, the Proteas player said:

"He's unbelievable - people think he's a skinny guy and can't hit a long ball, but he can hit it big. The guys have been backing him for a long time. Even with his left-arm spin...Today we felt with the ball being wet and the leftie batting it wasn't the ideal matchup."

Shahbaz Ahmed has been rated highly by the RCB management, and the left-hander has justified his selection with two crucial knocks.

Meanwhile, it was another Jos Buttler show that propelled Rajasthan Royals to 169. RCB bowled exceptionally, well but things got out of hand in the last two overs, where they conceded 42 runs.

Du Plessis reckoned that the target was above-par, considering the wicket was assisting the slower bowlers. He added:

"I think we bowled really well up until the 18th over, and Jos got some good shots in to put the bowlers under pressure. They got a score just a bit above par because we knew the ball was spinning."

However, it was the self-belief that took the team over the line, felt Faf du Plessis. He continued:

"Yuzi [Yuzvendra Chahal] came in and bowled really well - he used all his tricks beautifully. But once again the highlight of tonight was that we've got a lot of belief to win."

The Bangalore franchise chased down the target with five deliveries to spare. Harshal Patel launched a big hit off the first ball of the 20th over to see the team through.

Check out the full IPL teams owner here.

"His composure is unbelievable really" - Faf du Plessis on Dinesh Karthik

So so much to admire about @DineshKarthik. This has been sensational. Never say never with DK.

The 35-year-old wicketkeeper batter has been on a roll this season with the bat. He has been assigned the finisher's role,and Dinesh Karthik has lived up to the expectations.

The veteran pulled out another gem of a knock to take RCB home. Karthik remained unbeaten on 44 off just 23 deliveries, including seven boundaries and one six, to complete the heist.

Faf du Plessis, who likened Karthik with MS Dhoni recently, said that Karthik's calmness at the death adds a lot of value to the IPL team. The South African concluded:

"You need some really good characters, and DK is as brilliant a character as you can get. His composure is unbelievable,really. His value to the team is immense because of that calmness towards the end."

Royal Challengers Bangalore are sixth in the IPL points table with four points in three games. They play five-time champion Mumbai Indians in their next game on Saturday.

Edited by Bhargav


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