Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) got off to a bright start against the Chennai Super Kings in their second game of the UAE leg. Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal got off the blocks pretty quickly and they put the CSK attack to the sword in Sharjah.
Captain Kohli was dismissed after he scored 53 runs off 41 balls. He hit 6 fours and 1 six in his innings and his strike rate was 129.26. However, he slowed down after he crossed 40, and that’s something former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar wasn’t very impressed with.
Speaking on ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar spoke about how Kohli’s strike rate witnessed a sharp dip from 153 to 86 when he crossed the 40-run mark. He further said that it could well be a knock-on effect of the decisions he took recently. A week before the start of this phase, Kohli had announced that he would be stepping down as India’s T20I captain after the World Cup and RCB’s captain at the end of this season.
“Whether he got a bit caught up in that thing about getting to 50 because it’s a huge nosedive from 153 to 86 when there is no apparent reason,” Manjrekar said.
Coming back to this match, the opening pair of Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal made a tremendous start. In the first over of the match bowled by Deepak Chahar, the duo hit 3 boundaries to get the innings off to a flier. They added 55 runs in the powerplay and Kohli was the dominant partner with 33 runs from 21 balls. Before this match, Kohli had scored more than 34 runs in the powerplay overs only on four occasions in the IPL.
However, Kohli slowed down considerably after scoring 40 runs in 26 balls as he could only manage the next 13 runs in 15 balls, and this took the momentum away from the RCB innings. Once both the openers were dismissed, RCB’s innings faltered and despite the presence of big-hitting batsmen, the side was restricted to 156 runs in their 20 overs. CSK won the match with ease as they chased the target down in 18.1 overs.