Ahmedabad, May 27 (IANS) Former India opener Aakash Chopra feels senior players like captain Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, and Glenn Maxwell will have to step up for Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Qualifier 2 match against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2022.
During the 14-run win over Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator at Kolkata, the grand total of runs scored by du Plessis, Kohli and Maxwell was just 34 as Rajat Patidar struck a scintillating century, an unbeaten 112 off just 54 balls though the trio has chipped in patches throughout the tournament.
“Experience will be helpful in today’s match. I believe but I could still be wrong because if we look at RCB’s performance so far in this season, they reached this stage after winning the Eliminator without Kohli, Maxwell and Faf du Plessis scoring runs. If you still reached there, it means RCB’s season has been good.”
“So, well done RCB! But if you want to go forward from here and win today’s match, and then defeat Gujarat in the final, then it is not going to be possible without Faf, Kohli, and Maxwell scoring runs,” said Chopra on Game Plan show on Star Sports.
Chopra cautioned that the senior trio will have to get runs, especially against left-arm pacer Trent Boult and right-arm fast bowler Prasidh Krishna as whirlwind knocks like what Patidar produced in the Eliminator won’t happen every time. “They have a lot of experience. Trent Boult will be up against Faf du Plessis and he has struggled against left-armers. So, it will be a key battle to watch how he faces Boult. Virat Kohli has no such issue, he only needs to play Prasidh Krishna a little cautiously.”
“The rest he will handle pretty well. He hasn’t been dismissed by Trent Boult till now. But Faf has to score runs. It will not work every time that he gets a golden duck and expect someone to rescue the team from danger and reach 200. Rajat Patidar won’t be able to do it every time like he did in the Eliminator. Someone else will have to take the responsibility.”
Chopra further felt Rajasthan Royals’ leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, currently, the leading wicket-taker with 26 scalps in 15 matches, needs to bring out his best against his former IPL side in the contest for a spot for the final on Sunday. “They (Rajasthan) are not very over-dependent off-course. He is the highest wicket-taker not only for his team but has got the most wickets in the league. They’ve got other bowlers too, so it’s a good bowling unit.”
“In the opposition’s batting unit, looking at your main batters – Virat Kohli or Faf du Plessis – if they don’t score runs, then Rajat Patidar will score runs once in a while else it will become difficult for him. The same is happening with Jos Buttler if you look at his current batting. Yuzi Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin have played only once or twice where both have failed to take any wickets and RR lost both the matches.”
“So, it’s no doubt that they are important players and bowl important overs. But the good thing about today is that the field is very big and if there’s no dew on the field, you’ll see these bowlers bowling smartly. You will see Chahal bowling his best against his former team. In the previous match, he bowled well, but this time he needs to do even better since he needs to make his former team regret for not keeping him.”
Chopra signed off by saying Bangalore might win Qualifier 2 and face Gujarat Titans in the final. “Royals will win it. Let’s go with Royal Challengers Bangalore though the Rajasthani Rajwadas won’t let me enter Jaipur. They are very close to my heart but this time I would go for RCB.”