IPL 2021: Virat Kohli Defends Promoting Glenn Maxwell Ahead Of AB de Villiers Against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2021: Virat Kohli Defends Promoting Glenn Maxwell Ahead Of AB de Villiers Against Mumbai Indians

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB

Virat Kohli said Royal Challengers Bangalore is keen on giving Glenn Maxwell time to settle in the middle while explaining their decision to use the new big-hitting recruit ahead of AB de Villiers during their two-wicket win over Mumbai Indians.

Virat Kohli defended Royal Challengers Bangalore’s move to use new recruit Glenn Maxwell at No. 4 ahead of their star batsman AB de Villiers in their tense 2-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League 2021 opening match on Friday.

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell with RCB skipper Virat Kohli. Twitter
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell with RCB skipper Virat Kohli. Twitter

Virat Kohli: Glenn Maxwell’s Innings Was The Game Changer And RCB Could Have Won Earlier If He Wasn’t Dismissed

Virat Kohli heaped praise on Glenn Maxwell, saying the Australia all-rounder’s quickfire 39 from 28 balls helped to swing the momentum in their favour in the difficult chase of 160 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. RCB helped raise a few eyebrows when they sent Glenn Maxwell in at No. 4 ahead of AB de Villiers, who eventually walked out to bat at No. 5.

There was considerable pressure on Glenn Maxwell as he had a poor IPL outing in 2020, managing just 108 runs in 13 matches averaging a pathetic 15.42. However, the big-hitting all-rounder was at his dangerous best, hitting 2 sixes and 3 boundaries. Glenn Maxwell hit a 100-meter six that left Virat Kohli in awe. In fact, it was Glenn Maxwell’s first six in the IPL after 1079 runs as he had gone without a single six in the UAE last year.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell of RCB in action against MI (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Stressing that RCB is clear on giving Maxwell time to settle, especially on difficult batting pitches, Kohli said: “The thinking was that we wanted to give Maxi some balls at the start and not get him slogging right away. You saw the result today of him playing 10-15 balls. His innings were the game-changer.”

“Had he stayed in we would’ve finished a couple of overs earlier,” Kohli said.

Notably, RCB was in a spot of bother as they lost Virat Kohli (33) and Glenn Maxwell in quick succession after a 50-plus stand for the 3rd wicket.

However, AB de Villiers came up with another of his exhilarating knocks, hitting 48 from just 27 balls to help RCB get past the finish line and win a season opener for the first time in the history of the IPL. He was calm and composed in the death overs as he took the attack to the likes of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah in the tense chase.

Virar Kohli: Versatile AB De Villiers Shows RCB Has Depth And Hints At Changing Batting Order Depending On Situations

Virat Kohli pointed out that AB de Villiers’s versatility and ability to accelerate even on the slow surfaces makes him a good contender to do the finishing role intense chases. However, Virat Kohli pointed out that the batting order will be flexible, according to different situations they face in the rest of the season.

“The opposition gets nervous about AB. We have depth in the batting which we want to utilize,” Kohli said.

AB de Villiers [Image-IPLT20]
AB de Villiers [Image-IPLT20]

“AB is probably the only player who’s so versatile and can do what he did on slow pitches today, so we have to understand. If there’s a partnership on, you might see a totally different order. But in a tricky chase, you want some options in the back end, where the opposition thinks it’s not over till he gets out.”

For RCB, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers played knocks of 39 and 48 respectively. Skipper Virat Kohli also played a 33-run knock off 29 balls as efforts of opener Chris Lynn, who top-scored for MI with a 35-ball 49, went in vain.

Harshal Patel had picked five wickets (three in the final over) to restrict Mumbai Indians to 159 runs in the allotted 20 overs and as a result, he became the first bowler a take a fifer against Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult,  Jasprit Bumrah

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli(c), Rajat Patidar, AB de Villiers(w), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal