Royal Challengers Bangalore have enjoyed a good run in the ongoing Indian Premier League, with five wins from eight games. The team endured their third defeat of the campaign on Thursday against bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab, a contest which was decided on the final ball of the match.
However, many felt that promoting Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube ahead of AB de Villiers in the batting order as one of the primary reason for this defeat.
Sundar joined skipper Virat Kohli in the seventh over when RCB were batting on 62/2. He was dismissed by Murugan Ashwin and in order to keep the left-right combination intact, Dube came out to bat instead of De Villiers.
By the time Dube was dismissed the RCB inning had already reached the 16th over, leaving very little time for De Villiers to go bonkers.\
Defending the move, RCB coach Simon Katich said: “It will always be hard, but it was a good opportunity for them to show they could do too in that phase. Unfortunately, no one kicked on as it would have helped in posting a bigger total.”
“But certainly they tried hard and I think Kings XI bowled well.”
“We didn’t get the big partnership that we have been getting like 75-plus. Tonight, we had a lot 30-40 run partnership, we just didn’t get the big one.”
De Villiers, who was coming into the contest after scoring an unbeaten 73 off 33 deliveries against the Kolkata Knight Riders, failed to fire big as he was sent packing on 2 by Mohammad Shami.
Shami, then went on to dismiss the RCB skipper in the same over, however, some destructive show by Chris Morris in the final over heled the team post a stiff 171/6 on the board.
In response, KXIP started off on a solid note, with their in-form opening pair – KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal – adding 78 for the opening wicket. Chris Gayle, who was playing his first match of the campaign, then joined the party and blasted 53 from 45 deliveries as KXIP eventually won the contest by eight wickets.