Royal Challengers Bangalore carried on their unbeaten run in IPL 2021, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 38 runs in the 10th match of the season at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Batting first, RCB posted a 204 for 4, courtesy brilliant 70s from Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. In response, KKR only managed 166 for 8. Although KKR went hard at the chase right from the start, they ended second best by some distance. Here is a detailed analysis on three reasons why KKR went down to RCB.
1. Not building any pressure on Maxwell after early wickets
KKR began well with the ball, brilliantly in fact. Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy took out the big scalp of RCB skipper Virat Kohli for 5 and then dismissed Rajat Patidar for 1. RCB were definitely under pressure at 9 for 2 at the end of the second over. Even Devdutt Padikkal was struggling at the other end. KKR bowlers had a great opportunity of building further pressure. However, Glenn Maxwell came in and started counter-attacking from the word go.
Although there are no two ways about the fact that Maxwell is in the form of his life as far as the IPL is concerned, it is equally true that the KKR bowlers looked flat against him. There was hardly any attempt made it stop Maxwell. If there was, it definitely wasn’t evident in KKR’s bowling plan. While Padikkal perished for 25 from 28, Maxwell went on to hammer 78 from 49 balls with nine fours and three sixes. It was an innings that clearly put RCB on top after the early losses.
2. Allowing AB de Villiers to break free at the death
While Maxwell was brilliant, AB de Villiers was sensational. He whacked his way to an unbeaten 76 in only 34 balls. Like the Big Show, De Villiers blasted nine fours and three sixes in his innings. His spectacular big-hitting at the death though made the massive difference between a competitive total and a match-winning one. KKR’s bowlers completely lost their line and length at the end, allowing ABD to break free.
Consider this – the last three overs of the RCB innings produced 17, 18 and 21 runs respectively. Andre Russell bowled the 18th and 20th while Harbhajan Singh bowled the 19th. Even considering the genius of De Villiers, it must be taken into account that both Harbhajan and Russell are experienced bowlers. As such, they should have done better than the kind of performance they ended up dishing out. The extra runs at the death put the match beyond KKR.
3. No KKR batsman going on after getting a start
The only way KKR could have chased down the massive target was if a couple of their players did a Maxwell or de Villiers. A lot of them threatened but no one actually transformed the potential into performance. Nitish Rana made 18, Shubman Gill 21, Rahul Tripathi 25, Eoin Morgan 29, Shakib Al Hasan 26 and Andre Russell 31. At least a couple of them should have carried on and converted the starts into big scores.
Also, unlike KKR, the RCB bowlers found their length and kept the pressure on the opposition throughout. Of course, the task was a lot easier for RCB considering they had a massive total to defend. But, to their credit, they got their execution right. Every time they were put under pressure by the KKR batsmen, they responded with flying colours.