Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) batting great AB de Villiers lit-up the Monday (October 12) night with amazing strokeplay on a slowing pitch in Sharjah and being at the receiving end of the mauling, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Dinesh Karthik said the South African “made it look easier than it really was”.
Karthik spoke in the aftermath of his team’s embarrassing 82-run defeat, having responded to RCB’s massive 194/2 with just 112/9 in 20 overs in the second half. The captain reiterated how much of a difference De Villiers’ scintillating effort was in the end outcome as KKR batsmen had the pressure of the tough asking rate from ball one of their run-chase.
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“I think at various points of time we had opportunities to create little inroads, but they got away with some of the shots. AB de Villiers showed why he is such a good player, he made it look easier than it really was, to come out there and score 80 odd runs in the final five overs was not easy,” said Karthik during the post-match press conference, as quoted by ANI.
“Sometimes he (de Villiers) is a really hard batsman to bowl to because of the way he moves around the crease, it was not easy to bowl against him, in the match against us, he stayed still and he made sure he cleared his left leg and got a lot of balls outside the ground, overall kudos to him for the way he batted,” he added.
Missing the services of Sunil Narine, KKR brought in England’s Tom Banton (8) at the top of the order. But that meant a demotion for the in-form Rahul Tripathi (16).
Explaining the move, Karthik said: “Once you play Tom Banton, you have to make sure he opens because that’s where he’s best at. Rahul Tripathi is versatile, he can adapt to any batting position and situation, so we made sure that Banton opens the batting as he does the same role for his international side.”
Only Banton’s fellow opener Shubman Gill (34) crossed the 20-run mark on the night among KKR’s batsmen. Karthik, who himself made just 1 run, said the deteriorating pitch didn’t help the cause at all.
“I think the wicket was a bit slow as Virat had mentioned at the time of the toss. The wicket got a little slower, it was an ideal bat first wicket.”
“I think at various points of time we had opportunities to create little inroads, but they got away with some of the shots AB de Villiers showed why he is such a good player, he made it look easier than it really was, to come out there and score 80 odd runs in the final five overs was not easy,” he said.
In the bowling department as well, only spinner Varun Chakravarthy (0/25) had a good outing while the rest of the KKR attack failed to put a tight leash on the run-scoring, especially at the death where De Villiers just didn’t show any mercy.
Nevertheless, KKR are still fourth in the points table with four wins and three losses. The team next face Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi on Friday (October 16).