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Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Harsha Bhogle Feels Adding Purple Cap Holder Harshal Patel To The 15-Man India Squad Might Not Be A Bad Idea

Harsha Bhogle thinks the addition of pacer Harshal Patel to the 15 men India roster for the T20I World Cup can be a good idea, since the BCCI can alter India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 till October 10,

The UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season has given fans and experts many topics to debate. From the selection of certain underperforming players like Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar in India’s T20I World Cup squad to the non-selection of some superstars like Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan, plenty of names have been in discussion.

Harsha Bhogle. Getty Images
Harsha Bhogle. Getty Images

Harsha Bhogle Feels Adding Purple Cap Holder Harshal Patel To The 15 Men India Team Roster Might Not Be A Bad Idea

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) eligible to make changes in the squad till October 10, a few names top the charts if, at all, the changes are made. Arguably the one that is leading the list is that of Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Harshal Patel.

Even former BCCI selection committee chief, MSK Prasad, asserted that the team is a pacer short, going into the T20 World Cup 2021. However, with Harshal Patel already showing how effective he can be on the UAE pitches, Harsha Bhogle feels adding the right-arm pacer to the 15-man roster might not be a bad idea.

“If the pitches at the #ICCT20WorldCup2021 are going to be similar to these, picking Harshal Patel might not be a bad idea. (Changes allowed till October 10!),”Harsha Bhogle tweeted.

“A horses-for-courses practical selection. What do you guys think?”,Harsha Bhogle tweeted.

https://twitter.com/bhogleharsha/status/1445777495014264835?s=20

Harshal Patel, as a matter of fact, is the purple cap holder in the IPL 2021 season with 29 scalps to his name already. With a 3-wicket-haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday, Harshal Patel also broke Jasprit Bumrah’s record of taking the most wickets in a single IPL season for an Indian. Harsha Bhogle feels Harshal Patel’s addition to India’s squad can bolster the team, especially since the T20 WC is being held in UAE.

Harshal Patel Don’t Have Any Regret For Not Being In India’s T20I World Cup Squad

The 30-year-old pacer isn’t just a quality bowler but can also bat lower down the order, giving his team another incentive. Harshal Patel had recently also claimed a hat-trick for RCB, picking wickets on three successive deliveries against Mumbai Indians. After the match, the Gujarat-born cricketer was also asked about his Indian ambitions.

To which, he said: “I don’t have any regret anytime, the decisions I have taken in life have been taken as per my best ability at that time. And when it comes to selection, that is completely out of my hand.”

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

“There is the only goal for me, whichever team I play, be it a club or IPL team, or when I will play for the country or when I play for Haryana, I try to put a positive impact in the game from whichever situation with ball or bat.”

With Hardik Pandya yet to resume his role as an all-rounder, it does seem like India needs another bowling option at the T20 World Cup. However, considering Harshal Patel can prove to be handy with the bat too, there’s no denying that the uncapped cricketer fits the bill on various fronts for Team India.

Harshal Patel is the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2021 so far, with as many as 29 scalps in 13 matches averaging an impressive 14. This is his best tally since debuting in IPL 2012. The current Purple Cap holder pacer picked a hat-trick and returned with a four-wicket haul, conceding just 17 runs from his 3.1 over spell against Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians.

Harshal Patel overcame the mark set by Jasprit Bumrah of 27 wickets in the 2020 season. He achieved this feat in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Abu Dhabi. The 30-year-old speedster bagged the wickets of SRH captain Kane Williamson, Wriddhiman Saha, and Jason Holder.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Twitter
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Looks Like Virat Kohli May Open The Innings Along With Rohit Sharma In The T20I World Cup: Saba Karim

Saba Karim, the former India selector, said that Virat Kohli seems to be enjoying opening the innings in T20 cricket, and fans can expect him to partner with Rohit Sharma at the upcoming T20 World Cup. Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli seems to be finding his groove in the T20 format.

The 32-year-old batter scored back-to-back half-centuries in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, and runs flowing from his bat is a good sign not just for RCB but also for the Indian team, feels former selector Saba Karim. In a podcast on YouTube, Saba Karim also gave his views on what could be Virat Kohli’s batting position in the upcoming T20 World Cup. In the UAE leg, Virat Kohli scored 5, 53 and 51 in the first 3 games.

Saba Karim
Saba Karim (Source: Twitter)

He seems to be enjoying this role: Saba Karim

The former India selector feels that Virat Kohli might pair up with Rohit Sharma at the top of the order during the T20 World Cup, slated to be played in the UAE and Oman from October 17.

In India’s recent England limited-overs series in early 2021, India dropped KL Rahul in the fifth T20 International (T20I) against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to accommodate an extra bowler in the form of T Natarajan.

Captain Virat Kohli moved up to open the inning alongside Rohit Sharma, and the pairing gave India a blistering start. Their 94-run partnership in nine overs set India up for a mammoth total of 224/2, with Rohit Sharma taking on the role of aggressor, blazing 64 off 34 deliveries.

“It looks like Virat Kohli might open the innings in the T20 World Cup. He seems to be enjoying this role. He has hit back-to-back half-centuries. He is scoring runs at a good strike-rate. His concept is good, he knows which shots to play and what risks to take,” Saba Karim said on a YouTube show ‘Khelneeti’.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)

“Virat Kohli’s form is a good sign for RCB and for the Indian team. From here, everyone is waiting for him to get a big score. If you are opening the batting and your strike-rate is good after the end of the powerplay, then you must put on a big total on the board for your team,” Saba Karim added.

Virat Kohli, who has gone two years without scoring a century in international cricket, is showing signs of returning to his best in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. The RCB skipper has hit 3 fifties in IPL 2021, amassing 307 runs in 10 games averaging 34.11. He is the only player to score above 6000 IPL runs.

Virat Kohli Became The First Indian Batsman To Score 10,000 Runs In T20s

On Sunday, Virat Kohli played a knock of 51 runs against the defending champions Mumbai Indians and became the first Indian batsman to score 10,000 runs in the shortest format. The India captain is only the second batsman after West Indies’ Chris Gayle to achieve the T20 and ODI cricket milestone.
Virat Kohli is seen taking Chris Gayle's interview after the match© Facebook
Virat Kohli is seen taking Chris Gayle’s interview after the match. Photo Credit: Twitter.
The RCB captain got to the landmark after pulling MI pacer Jasprit Bumrah for six in his knock of 51 from 42 balls, joining Chris Gayle, Keiron Pollard, Shoaib Malik and David Warner as the other players to have scored 10,000 runs in the shortest format. Virat Kohli has a total of 10,038 runs from 314 games at an average of 41.65 in the T20s, with 3,159 of those coming while playing for India. He has scored five hundreds in the format, all for RCB.
AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli
AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli
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Virat Kohli Sought Advice From AB De Villiers Who Stressed On Four Basic Points

Virat Kohli didn’t have the best of outings during the Test series against England in India. The India captain scored a total of 172 runs in four Tests at an average of 28.66.

He turned things around in the five-match T20I series by smashing 231 runs at an average of 115.50 and followed it up with a total of 129 runs in the three-match ODI series.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Virat Kohli And AB De Villiers Spoke About A Couple Of Basic Technical Things

During England’s tour of India, Virat Kohli reached out to his RCB teammate AB de Villiers, who revealed the contents of a message he sent to India’s batting star.

“I don’t want to say. It’s embarrassing. I think I mentioned four points. We spoke about couple of things away from the game and then also a couple of technical things but it was very basic,” the South African superstar said in a video posted on RCB’s official Twitter handle.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

“I have been wanting to tell him for quite a while, I was watching him for a few months looking like he was quite intense — at the crease, with his whole game. So, I really wasn’t surprised when I saw the message and I knew immediately that all he needs to hear is the basic stuff.”

After India captain Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten 73 runs in 49 balls in the 2nd T20I against England, he revealed he sought advice from former South Africa captain and his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate AB de Villiers.

It was a tough time for the India skipper who was struggling to get runs on the board, and after losing the first T20I in which he was dismissed for a duck, Virat Kohli sought advice from cricket’s ‘Mr. 360’.

AB De Villiers Messaged Virat Kohli To See The Ball With A Still Head Maintaining Body Language And Attitude

AB de Villiers then proceeds to take his phone out of his pocket and reveals what exactly he messaged Virat Kohli.

“Four points — see the ball, still head, allow the ball to come into your space, body language, and attitude. And then we sort of elaborated around those four points,” said De Villiers.

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers of RCB Twitter

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli are currently with the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in Chennai. RCB has made a dream start in IPL 2021, winning both their matches so far to sit atop the IPL points table.

They along with Punjab Kings, who have only played one match so far, are the only unbeaten team in the tournament this season. RCB next face Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

Against SRH, RCB, who were put in to bat, made one change to their playing XI, bringing in Devdutt Padikkal in place of Rajat Patidar.  The right-hander Glenn Maxwell was dismissed off the final delivery of the innings after guiding RCB to 149/8.

He scored his first fifty for RCB and was awarded, MOM. RCB produced a monumental comeback with the ball after Shahbaz Ahmed struck thrice in one over and managed to defend a total of 149 against SRH.

Mohammed Siraj built the pressure early on with the new ball removing Wriddhiman Saha but Shahbaz Ahmed who bowled the 17th over turned out to be a match-changing move as the left-arm spinner scalped 3 wickets in an over.

He dismissed Jonny Bairstow and Pandey on consecutive deliveries and then got Abdul Samad out on the final delivery, with all three batsmen attempting to clear the ropes.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 149/8 (Glenn Maxwell 59, Virat Kohli 33; Jason Holder 3/30) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 143/9 (David Warner 54, Manish Pandey 38; Shahbaz Ahmed 3/7) by 6 runs

In the 1st match, Harshal Patel took the IPL’s first five-wicket haul against Mumbai, returning 5 for 27 in four overs, ripping the heart out of Mumbai’s monster hitters with a variety of slower balls and inch-perfect yorkers to keep the defending champions to just 159 for 9. Harshal Patel bowled overs 16, 18 and 20, and was single-handedly responsible for Mumbai ending up below 160 when they looked set for more than 180.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 160 for 8 (de Villiers 48, Maxwell 39, Bumrah 2-26, Jansen 2-28) beat Mumbai Indians 159 for 9 (Lynn 49, Yadav 31, Patel 5-27) by two wickets

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
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IPL 2021: Yuzvendra Chahal Hopeful To Deliver Goods In His 100th IPL Match

Yuzvendra Chahal is all set to play his 100th T20 match for RCB, on Wednesday (April 14), when his team RCB takes on SRH in Chennai. He is keen to yield desired results for his team in the impending conetst.

Yuzvendra Chahal is all set to feature in his 100th T20 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. The seasoned leg-spinner was first roped in by Mumbai Indians in 2011, but he only played one match across three seasons before being recruited by RCB in 2014.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: Twitter

Yuzvendra Chahal Never Thought He Will Play 100 Matches For RCB

Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad who lost their opening game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, on Wednesday (April 14), in the sixth fixture of the ongoing IPL 2021. Ahead of the feat, Yuzvendra Chahal has engaged in a delightful chat with the legendary Mr. Nags, as shared by the official Twitter handle of RCB.

“I started in 2014 and I came from Mumbai Indians. That time I never thought that I’ll play 100 matches for RCB. So, yeah, it’s a very emotional journey,” Chahal told Mr Nags.

Virat Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal
Virat Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chahal’s message to his fans: “This is my 100th match for RCB, I try my best. It’s a very emotional thing for me and I never thought I’d play 100 matches for one franchise.”

The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League kicked off with RCB winning the thrilling opener against Mumbai Indians at the same venue where Virat Kohli’s side will take on David Warner’s SRH on Wednesday.

Royal Challengers Bangalore, like other franchises, post a lot of engaging and interesting content for the fans across their social media. Besides this interaction with Mr. Nags, Yuzvendra Chahal shared a playful banter with an RCB colleague, and the franchise’s Twitter handles shared it. The leg-spinner and Glenn Maxwell, who made his RCB debut last week, were seen sharing a fun moment in the video.

Glenn Maxwell with Virat Kohli of RCB. Twitter
Glenn Maxwell with Virat Kohli of RCB Twitter

Yuzvendra Chahal has scalped 121 wickets in 99 matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore so far. Although he comes out to be a little expensive bowler sometimes, he has an overall economy of 7.69 in IPL. In IPL 2015 and IPL 2016, he came to the limelight with 23 and 21 wickets respectively.

His spectacular bowling in IPL also helped him to earn a national cap. Last year in IPL 2020, he grabbed 21 wickets in 15 games for RCB and was the highest wicket-taker for the team and 5th highest overall.

In RCB’s first match, they outplayed defending champions Mumbai Indians in every department winning by 2 wickets in a last-ball thriller.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 160/8 (AB de Villiers 48, Maxwell 39, Bumrah 2/26) beat Mumbai Indians 159/9 (Chris Lynn 49, Suryakumar Yadav 31, Harshal Patel 5/27) by 2 wickets

Devdutt Padikkal could make his return in the game against SRH, now that he’s likely back to full fitness. However, management could opt to give Rajat Patidar another opportunity to prove himself. Considering that the surface isn’t spinning that much, RCB could opt to bring in Navdeep Saini instead of Shahbaz Ahmed. SRH should go into this game with the same playing XI despite the defeat against KKR.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Devdutt Padikkal/Rajat Patidar, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Navdeep Saini/ Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Wriddhiman Saha (WK), David Warner (C), Manish Pandey, Jonny Bairstow, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, and T Natarajan.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter
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IPL 2021: AB de Villiers Is ‘Better Than Genius’ – Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar took to Twitter and wrote if there is any adjective ‘better than genius’ then that should be reserved for AB de Villiers after former South African great led RCB to a thrilling two-wicket win against MI in IPL 2021 match No.1 in Chennai.

Former India batsman and now a renowned commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar reserved praise of the highest order for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman AB de Villiers after he rolled back the clock to score a masterful 48, helping RCB chase down the 160-run target set by defending champions Mumbai Indians to start their IPL 2021 campaign on a winning note.

File image of Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar. Photo Credit: Sportzpics.

Sanjay Manjrekar: AB De Villiers Is Better Than Genius

AB De Villiers, who scored 48 off 27 balls with two sixes and four fours, was run out in the last over with RCB needing 2 off 2 balls but all-rounder Harshal Patel showed nerves of steel to hit the winning runs off the last ball of MI pacer Marco Jansen to seal the victory for the Virat Kohli-led side.

Sanjay Manjrekar believes that if a word is better than genius, it describes the former South African captain.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Photo: BCCI / IPL

Sanjay Manjrekar said if there is any adjective better than ‘genius’ then that should be reserved for AB de Villiers.

“English not my strong suit. What’s the adjective for ‘better than genius’? That’s what AB is! Really!” Sanjay Manjrekar tweeted after AB’s heroics with the bat on Friday in Chennai.

AB De Villiers, who changed the script in a space of two overs by attacking the two MI spinners Rahul Chahar (0/43) and Krunal Pandya (1/25).

AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, And Virat Kohli Guides RCB To A Thrilling 2 Wicket Win Over Defending Champions MI

His attack prompted Rohit Sharma to finish his best bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s spell (2/26 in 4 overs) before the final over, from which seven runs were required. RCB was in control when Glenn Maxwell (39 off 28 balls) came in and upset leg-spinner Rahul Chahar’s line with a reverse-pull boundary. He repeated the shot off the same bowler for a six and got another maximum off Krunal Pandya over long-on.

Skipper Virat Kohli (33 off 29 balls), who had launched into an experienced Marco Jansen in his first over, got a bit bogged down as the innings progressed. However, Glenn Maxwell’s attack meant that Virat Kohli could take his time.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell of RCB (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

It was MI’s strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who came back for his second spell and removed the Indian captain with an angular delivery as the RCB skipper was given out lbw.

If that wasn’t enough, Marco Jansen, the 6 feet 8-inch youngster, bowled a short bouncer that ended Glenn Maxwell’s potentially dangerous innings as he disappointed once again after looking set for a big score.

After Marco Jansen removed Shahbaz Ahmed, AB de Villiers announced his arrival after a long time as he had quit international cricket with a six and a boundary off Rahul Chahar. Earlier, Man of the Match Harshal Patel bowled a great last over to finish with 5/27 which kept the Mumbai Indians total under check (159/5).

He picked up three wickets in his final over for a run and also became the first bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians. Chris Lynn was the top scorer for Mumbai scoring 49 off 35 balls including 4 fours and 3 sixes. But AB De Villiers’ 48 saw his efforts to go in vain.

15 runs came in the 18th over and 12 runs in the 19th over which eased RCB’s pressure after a good 17th over which saw only 5 runs off Jasprit Bumrah. Rahul Chahar conceded 15 runs in the 16th over after only 11 runs overall came in the previous 3 overs.

AB De Villiers, Daniel Vettori
AB De Villiers, Daniel Vettori
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IPL 2021: Daniel Vettori Believes AB de Villiers Should Bat Higher Up The Order For RCB

Daniel Vettori, former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain believes AB de Villiers should be batting higher up the order for the franchise. Daniel Vettori played for RCB in 2011-2012.

Coming in to bat at No.5 against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday, AB de Villiers scored a magnificent 48 off 27 balls to help RCB win the IPL 2021 opener.

Daniel Vettori RCB. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Daniel Vettori RCB. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Daniel Vettori: It Was AB De Villiers Again Who Showed His Class But No. 5 Is Pretty Low For A Player Of His Quality

While Washington Sundar opened with skipper Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar was sent in at No.3, pushing AB De Villiers down the order. Daniel Vettori feels demoting AB de Villiers wasn’t the right move as he is too good a player to be batting at the No.5 position.

Daniel Vettori told ESPN Cricinfo: “We have talked so many times about how RCB relies on either AB de Villiers or Virat Kohli. They got a little cameo from (Glenn) Maxwell as well. But in the end, it was De Villiers again who showed his class.

“They put him down to No. 5, which is pretty low for a player of his quality. But they got the result they wanted because of his ability and his maturity to get them through. It was a wonderful innings. Apart from him and Maxwell, no one really looked fluent at all for RCB throughout the innings.”

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers played sensational innings of 48 runs off just 27 balls to help RCB beat MI in the first game of IPL 2021 | Photo: BCCI / IPL

Chasing 160 for victory, RCB was once placed at 122 for 6. However, AB De Villiers came up with the goods to help his side win the thrilling contest. Although the South African legend was run out in the last over, RCB sneaked home by two wickets.

With Washington Sundar opening the innings alongside Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar and Glenn Maxwell were sent in ahead of AB de Villiers. 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.

AB De Villiers: It Was An Incredible Cricket On Display And RCB Was Under Pressure To Negotiate MI Bowling Lineup

Reflecting on his side’s thrilling win in the opening game of IPL 2021, AB de Villiers said that RCB versus MI games always seem to produce incredible cricket.

“It was an incredible game of cricket, always seems to be against Mumbai. We obviously came in knowing it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew halfway it was going to get tough. It’s one of those pitches that gets harder as the game goes on. They have a wonderful bowling line up that put us under pressure,” AB de Villiers said.

Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians.
Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians. © BCCI/IPL

Although AB de Villiers is a brilliant runner between the wickets, he was run out against MI.

Reflecting on his dismissal, he added: “There was an easy two in my opinion, but as I started it felt like I was running backwards. Krunal got it spot on with the throw.”

Apart from AB de Villiers’ brilliance with the bat, Harshal Patel claimed five wickets to restrict the Mumbai Indians to just 159 runs. Harshal Patel was named Man of the Match for his efforts.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell
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Glenn Maxwell Felt Good To Hit Two Sixes After Failing To Hit Even One In IPL 2020

Glenn Maxwell, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman has said that he certainly felt good after hitting two sixes against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 opener as he failed to hit a single six in IPL 2020 held at UAE.

Glenn Maxwell had played for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) last year and he had a dismal run, scoring just above 100 runs(108 runs averaging 15.42 in 13 games). During his stint, the right-handed batsman did not manage to hit a single six for the side.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell of RCB (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Glenn Maxwell Felt Good To Hit A Six After Failing To Hit A Single One In IPL 2020

But in the IPL 2021 opener, the batsman managed to change his fortunes as he played a knock of 39 runs, including two sixes. RCB defeated Mumbai Indians by two wickets in a thrilling encounter on Friday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

“It certainly felt good. I did not hit a single six last year, I did remind Virat of me not hitting a six last year. To hit one out of the middle, it is a bit of monkey of the back. It is nice to start well and to have the captain at the other end, it makes my job a little easier,” Glenn Maxwell told Harshal Patel in a video posted on the official website of IPL.

Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians.
Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians. © BCCI/IPL

Harshal Patel delivered a stunning bowling performance before Protea batsman AB de Villiers’ masterclass as RCB defeated Mumbai Indians by two wickets. 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 cash-rich IPL.

Harshal Patel Felt Great To Bag His First 5 Wicket Haul In The T20s Against A Great Batting Lineup

In response, RCB got over the line on the last ball, courtesy of some fine hitting by AB de Villiers in the death overs. For RCB, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers played knocks of 39 and 48 respectively. Skipper Virat Kohli also played a 33-run knock of 29 balls.

Mumbai Indians opener Chris Lynn (Courtesy- Mumbai Indians Twitter)
Mumbai Indians opener Chris Lynn (Courtesy- Mumbai Indians Twitter)

“Obviously, it felt great. It was my first fifer ever in the T20s, that felt special and this coming against such a good batting lineup, it was cherry on top.

“The ball started tailing a bit so I wanted to hit them on the toes and if they miss, it will hit the stumps and I knew if they are waiting for the yorkers, my slower balls can be really deceptive. So, I was just trying to mix it up and get as many wickets as I can,” Harshal told  Glenn Maxwell.

“I told AB de Villiers when I got there that I am there with you and we are going to win this game. Obviously, whenever you hit the winning runs, it does not matter whether it is a boundary or a single, it is a special feeling. Great day on the field,” he added.

Chris Lynn top-scored for MI with a 35-ball 49 against RCB but baring him, nobody could score more than 31. The likes of Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and Krunal Pandya failed to deliver with the bat. In reply, like MI, RCB’s lower order failed to contribute much but RCB held on the nerve and crossed the hurdle in the last ball thriller.

Mumbai Indians, haven’t won their opening match for the 9th successive time in the IPL since 2012. The win helped RCB improve their head-to-head record over MI with 11 wins out of 28 matches. This is also the first time RCB won their opening game of 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

AB de Villiers [Image-IPLT20]
AB de Villiers [Image-IPLT20]
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IPL 2021: AB de Villiers Scores Quickfire 48 As RCB Beat Mumbai Indians In A Last-Ball Thriller

AB de Villiers played yet another match-winning knock to help Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Mumbai Indians by 2 wickets in the first match of IPL 2021 at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on Friday.

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s AB de Villiers was extremely pleased after scripting his team’s 2-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the opening match which was a thriller of IPL 2021 in Chennai on Friday.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

AB de Villiers Said It Was An Absolute Pleasure Playing Alongside Glenn Maxwell

AB de Villiers’s quickfire 48 off 27 balls helped RCB chase down 160 off the last ball against the defending champions at the MA Chidambaram stadium.

“Was an incredible game of cricket. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, we knew it wasn’t an easy pitch to play on and it’s one of those wickets that gets harder as the game goes on and we knew if we could take it to the end we could take a chance,” AB de Villiers said after the match.

Glenn Maxwell's massive six had Virat Kohli exclaiming animatedly
Glenn Maxwell’s massive six had Virat Kohli exclaiming animatedly.© IPL/Twitter

The retired South African legend also spoke about playing with RCB debutant Glenn Maxwell.

“Absolute pleasure playing alongside him (Maxwell). I love playing with players like that and he just wants to win cricket games. And also there’s Dan Christian,” AB de Villiers maintained.

Glenn Maxwell too contributed scoring 39 runs off 28 balls which included 3 fours and 2 sixes while skipper Virat Kohli too scored 33 off 29 balls. But RCB like Mumbai Indians lost too many wickets at the end as their lower middle order failed to contribute much. AB de Villiers was run out in the 4th ball of the final over as they needed 2 runs off the last 2 balls with 2 wickets in hand.

Mumbai Indians Haven’t Won Their Opening Game In IPL For The 9th Successive Time Since 2012

The result was a shot in the arm for the defending champions Mumbai Indians, who haven’t won their opening match in the IPL since 2012. The win helped RCB improve their head-to-head record over MI with 11 wins out of 28 matches. This is also the first time RCB won their opening game of the IPL.

Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians.
Harshal Patel finished 5 for 27 for RCB against Mumbai Indians. © BCCI/IPL

Earlier, Mumbai Indians lost the plot despite being well placed and looking set to score about 170 odd but Harshal Patel had other ideas as he picked 5/27 as MI lost 4 wickets in the final over. Chris Lynn was the top scorer for Mumbai scoring 49 off 35 balls including 4 fours and 3 sixes.

Harshal Patel also became the first bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul against Mumbai in the IPL. He picked up three wickets in the final over, dismissing Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and Marco Jansen, and finished with figures of 5 for 27 in four overs. The right-arm pacer helped RCB arrest Mumbai’s momentum towards the end of the innings after Chris Lynn’s 49 had helped the five-time champions get off to a good start.

Chris Lynn and Suryakumar Yadav added a crucial 70 run-stand to get MI back on track. Suryakumar Yadav (31) has raced to 2,055 runs in the IPL.

The right-arm pacer Harshal Patel became the 22nd bowler in the IPL to claim a fifer in an IPL match. He has now recorded the third-best bowling figures by an RCB bowler in the cash-rich league. Harshal Patel also became the third RCB bowler to claim a five-wicket haul.

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

RCB will next face 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same venue in Chennai on April 14 while MI will take on two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders a day before at Chepauk.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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The Contest To Watch Out For Is Jasprit Bumrah Bowling To Virat Kohli: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra, a former India batsman said that the most exciting clash in the IPL 2021 opening match between MI and RCB will be between Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians will take on Virat Kohli-led RCB, who will try to clinch their maiden titles this season, in the IPL 2021 opener on Friday.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: The Box Office Contest To Watch Out For Is Jasprit Bumrah Against Virat Kohli

While Virat Kohli will be coming into IPL 2021 off a successful limited-overs series against England, Jasprit Bumrah will be returning after a break that he had taken in the final Test and subsequent limited-overs series to get married to Sanjana Ganesan. But Aakash Chopra termed this as the ‘best vs best’ clash in the match.

“The contest to watch out for, I mean the box-office contest which you will pay to watch is the best vs best and that is Bumrah vs Kohli. Kohli is coming in good form while Bumrah is coming after a break. Kohli will be opening the batting and Bumrah will be in front of him with the new ball. It is an interesting contest because Bumrah has managed to get under the skin of Kohli.”

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB

“As soon as Kohli comes to bat, the (Mumbai Indians) captain Rohit gives Bumrah the ball and he bowls bouncers and has got him out two-three times while playing the pull shot,” said Aakash Chopra on his Youtube channel.

Jasprit Bumrah has a good record against Virat Kohli and interestingly has got the India skipper out to claim his maiden wicket in IPL (2013) and also his 100th wicket (2020).

Aakash Chopra: Jasprit Bumrah Has Induced Virat Kohli To Play The Bad Shot

Speaking further about Virat Kohli getting out to Jasprit Bumrah while playing the pull-shot, Aakash Chopra said that the bowler has been able to induce the ‘bad shot’ from the batsman.

“Generally Virat does not get out like that, he keeps his ego aside. But against Bumrah he has tried to hit him and got out while playing a bad shot. So, that’s the contest I am looking forward to watch,” Aakash Chopra added.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. Image Credits: Twitter

Jasprit Bumrah claimed 27 wickets at 14.96 to finish as 2nd leading wicket-taker in IPL 2020. Virat Kohli managed 466 runs averaging 42.66 in IPL 2020.

MI Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla/ Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.

RCB Probable Playing XI: Virat Kohli(c), Finn Allen (wk)/ Devdutt Padikkal, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Azharuddeen/ Rajat Patidar, Washington Sundar,  Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed/ Dan Christian, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who took a sabbatical to sort out mental health problems, has found support in Virat Kohli. Twitter
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who took a sabbatical to sort out mental health problems, has found support in Virat Kohli. Twitter
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Virat Kohli Opens Up On Specifically Targeting Glenn Maxwell During The IPL 2021 Auction

Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain spoke at length in the latest episode of ‘Bold Diaries’ about Glenn Maxwell — and how his team management targeted the Australian all-rounder in the IPL 2021 auction held at Chennai in February

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli is thrilled at the prospect of having Glenn Maxwell in his squad this season as they begin their hunt for the elusive IPL title when the tournament begins on April 9.

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Virat Kohli Specifically Targeted Glenn Maxwell At The IPL Auction

RCB shelled out a whopping Rs 14.25 crore for Glenn Maxwell, who was released by Punjab Kings(formerly KXIP) earlier this year following a relatively sub-standard performance in IPL 2020. The Australian all-rounder has a very underwhelming record in the IPL but was still hot property at the mini-auction in February.

Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter
Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter

Even before the auction, Glenn Maxwell had expressed his desire to play for RCB under his good friend Virat Kohli, who was also keen on having the Aussie star in his squad this season.

The Indian and RCB skipper opened up about the Australian all-rounder and how the RCB think-tank targeted him in the auction in the latest episode of ‘Bold Diaries’.

“We wanted Maxi, specifically targeted him at the auction in February. You obviously feel great when things end up happening to where you thought they would.”

“Zamps sent me that picture of them (Zampa and Maxwell) at a practice session handing over the RCB cap even before the auction happened. Zamps a very funny guy, thought it was hilarious and I sent it to Maxi as well.”

“He’s a good guy, we’ve caught up in the past as well when I was in Australia on a tour. He’s just very happy to be in RCB and I see different energy about him this time,” Virat Kohli told RCB’s Danish Sait.

Glenn Maxwell has played 82 IPL matches where he has amassed 1505 runs and picked up 19 wickets. He failed at UAE in 2020 where he managed to score only 108 runs averaging a pathetic 15.42 at a strike rate of below 102.

Virat Kohli Feels Lot Of Experience Added In RCB Team This Time

Virat Kohli went on to add that he doesn’t want anyone in his squad to feel as though he is the focal point in the team so that it doesn’t put undue pressure on the player.

RCB will take on Mumbai Indians in the tournament-opener in Chennai on Friday. RCB bought Glenn Maxwell (Rs 14.25 crore, Kyle Jamieson (Rs 15 crore), Dan Christian (Rs 4.8 crore), and 5 other players at their base price. KS Bharat, Suyash Prabhudessai, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby were the other 5 buys.

“I don’t think as much as you guys, I mean you as in within your team, want to be the match-winner. You don’t want to be the centre of attention all the time and I think that’s something that happened with Maxwell. There’s too much focus and attention on you.”

“We have decided to pick him, he’s not demanding to go to any team. When you decide to pick a player its very important to manage the player as well. And I think having guys like Maxi, Dan Christian, Kyle Jamieson… lot of experience that we’ve added in the team this time.”

Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP
Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP

“We have a squad where we don’t want anyone to be the focal point of the team, we want a strong squad all over that can feed off each other and have a great balance and move forward in one direction.

“And that has to be the communication within our group as well. No one is going to be put in with the most amount of load and the others just do auxiliary work. Everyone has to pull together so the weight is spread evenly and then all the situations can be tackled accordingly,” Virat Kohli stated.

The team retained just 12 players while releasing as many as 10 players that included some notable names like Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, and Moeen Ali. RCB traded Harshal Patel and Daniel Sams from Delhi Capitals (DC).

IPL 2021 gets underway with five-time champions and holders Mumbai Indians taking on Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on April 9.

RCB Probable Playing XI: Virat Kohli(c), Finn Allen (wk)/ Devdutt Padikkal, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Azharuddeen/ Rajat Patidar, Washington Sundar,  Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed/ Dan Christian, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.

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