The Royal Challengers Bangalore registered their second win on a trot as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by a massive 67 runs in the Indian Premier League match at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Sunday.
Skipper Faf du Plessis who was instrumental in the victory with his unbeaten 73 to guide Bangalore to 192/3 said he was “contemplating retiring out” to let Dinesh Karthik come in to bat sooner.
Bangalore recovered quickly from Virat Kohli’s opening blow, when left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith prised out the star batter with a pitched delivery. Du Plessis and Rajat Patidar, who made 48, then put on 105 runs for the third wicket.
Then, du Plessis kept up the attack and found company in Glenn Maxwell, who hit two sixes before getting out in the 19th over for 33.
Karthik followed it up hitting an an eight-ball 30 to finish with a flourish as he hit three sixes and boundary in a 25-run 20th over by IPL debutant and Afghanistan fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Talking about Karthik and his finishing skills during the post-match presentation, the RCB skipper said, “If he [Karthik] keeps hitting sixes like that, everyone always wants to get him in and bat for as long as possible. But he’s just so clear.”
“I mean, to be honest with you, I was actually trying to get out because I was so tired, to get DK in and we were even contemplating, you know, myself retiring (out).”
When Harsha Bhogle who was conducting the post-match presentation double-checked, du Plessis replied, “Retiring out, yes.”
He continued, “But then we lost that wicket. Yeah, DK is in such good form. But it was a tricky wicket. It wasn’t one of those wickets where you could just come in - I think it was not evident with DK but with other guys, the first few balls, they struggled. And then lucky for us, I think there was a dropped catch off DK in that one over and then he took them apart.”
Last month, R Ashwin and the Rajasthan Royals made history by becoming the first IPL team to retire a batter for solely tactical reasons, allowing Riyan Parag to run in and whack some sixes. It then opened the possibility of teams opting to use the ‘retire out’ strategy more often in T20 cricket. Du Plessis’ admission that the thought occurred to him does mean that teams are thinking about it as a tactical option.
Du Plessis also praised Wanindu Hasaranga’s efforts to ensure that RCB dominates proceedings even during the chase. The Sri Lankan spinner took over with his leg spin to rattle the SRH batting with regular strikes in his four overs including one maiden. He returned figures of 5-18 to help dismiss SRH for 125 in 19.2 overs as Bangalore stayed strong at fourth in the points table.
“Really happy for Wani,” du Plessis said. “I think personally he was looking for that one match where he blows right through the batting line-up. He’s been threatening to do that right throughout the campaign. So very happy that tonight was that night. He’s obviously one of those special bowlers, if you’re not picking him, and especially when you get to the lower-order batters, he can run through them quickly.”
(With inputs from AFP)