Throwing light on Glenn Maxwell's promotion to No.4, RCB skipper Virat Kohli has reckoned that it was an obvious ploy from the management to send the Australian all-rounder at No.4 to maximize their batting depth. Kohli also showered praises on all-rounder Harshal Patel for his bowling performance.
At 98/3 in the 13th over, RCB were well-ahead of the game and arguably on their way to an easy win over the defending champions Mumbai Indians. However, in a turn of events that RCB wouldn’t have imagined, the men in Red and Gold lost three quick wickets to leave their main man AB de Villiers in another pressure situation.
However, as it has been the case time and again, the Saffer led the team over the line. In the first innings, Mumbai were well on their way to scoring well above 170 but Harshal Patel’s last over, where he picked up three wickets, conceding just the one run helped RCB claw their way back before they wrapped up the win.
In the post-match presentation, RCB skipper Virat Kohli established that it was a clear ploy to back Glenn Maxwell at No.4, a position earmarked for AB de Villiers in the past. RCB's skipper also labelled Rajat Patidar, who played his first game in the IPL, as an exciting player who can play spin well.
"We wanted Maxi to bat at four. Rajat is a very solid players. He is an exciting player, plays spin well too. The thinking was that we wanted to give Maxi some balls at the start and not get him slogging rightaway. You saw the result today of him playing 10-15 balls. His innings was the game-changer. Had he stayed in we would've finished a couple of overs earlier. The opposition then gets nervous about AB. We have depth in the batting which we want to utilize," he added.
"That is why those partnerships between Maxi and me and then between AB and Maxi was really important. It's not a pitch where you can just hit through the line. You have to be smart with picking the gaps and running hard. Playing in Chennai you have to be respectful of that. The shot that Pollard got out to, in Wankhde it would've sailed into the crowds. We came back well and used the conditions well. They came back well too after losing Rohit early and those last six overs for us were probably the best six we've ever had," he insisted.
Kohli also admitted that all-rounder Harshal Patel, who was traded-in to the RCB side, not only took up the responsibility of bowling in the death but also relished the same. Kohli claimed that the all-rounder would continue to bowl in that phase for the Men in Red and Gold for the rest of the season.
"We brought Harshal in a trade from Delhi. He is relishing the responsibility and is clear with his plans. He was the difference today. He is going to be our death bowler. As a captain you want players with clarity, and he has that. Jamieson started off well, Yuzi was good, Siraj was good too. In T20 cricket, clarity at the top of your mark is all you as for as a captain. Harshal was very clear with that and it was his day today," Virat Kohli told Star Sports in the post-match presentation.
While showing his happiness over the win against the defending champions, the 32-year-old added that it was crucial to test their side against MI in the first encounter. He also revealed that the conditions on offer with the old ball made it difficult for the batters.
"We won the first match last year as well that we played. It was important to play against the strongest side in the competition and test our side. Everyone was involved in this game, and when you win by two wickets, it means that everyone has gone in and played. A lot of options for me as well that helped bringing the game back. The pitch was looking decent in the first half, but to be honest, with the old ball the length ball was difficult to get away," he added.