IPL 2021: Great centuries, big runs, fighting spirit and bright futures

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Devdutt Padikkal of Royal Challengers Bangalore raises his bat after scoring a fifty during the match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. (ANI Photo/IPL Twitter)

Glimpses of action on and off the pitch and what is happening in the dressing rooms

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli lavished rich praise on Devdutt Padikkal, who scored his maiden IPL ton and helped the team register a thumping win over Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League clash here at the Wankhede on Thursday evening.

Padikkal’s unbeaten 101 and Kohli’s 72 not out helped RCB beat Rajasthan by 10 wickets, thus registering their fourth straight win in the ongoing tournament. “It was an outstanding inning. He (Padikkal) batted really well for his first season last time. There was a lot of talk about him not accelerating after getting to 30s. He’s put all that to rest. It was a good pitch to bat on to be honest, and him being tall meant that bowlers struggled with their lengths. T20 cricket is always about partnerships,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

When asked about his own knock, Kohli said, “You can’t always go big from the word go. When one guy is going well, it’s important for me to ensure that I don’t lose my wicket. It can change on other days.”

“We spoke about it (on the 100). He told me to finish it off, I told him to get to it first. He said many will come, I said yeah you can say that after you get to the landmark. He deserved to get the three-figure mark,” he added.

Chasing 178, RCB got across the line in 16.3 overs to go back at the top of the points table.

Kohli becomes first to make 6,000 runs

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday became the first batsman to complete 6,000 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Playing in his 196th IPL match here at the Wankhede Stadium, Kohli achieved the feat in the 13th over against Rajasthan Royals. Kolhi and opener Devdutt Padikkal gave a solid start to the side and put up a dominating show while chasing 178. Kohli is leading the IPL highest run-getter chart followed by Suresh Raina (5,448), Shikhar Dhawan (5,428) David Warner (5,384) and Rohit Sharma (5,368).

Kohli was just 51 runs behind the milestone figure before the match. As soon he hit his 51st run of the innings he became the first batter to do so in the IPL.

Earlier, Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia played knocks of 46 and 40 runs respectively to steer Rajasthan Royals to 177/9 in their allotted 20 overs.

Natarajan goes out of tournament

SunRisers Hyderabad pacer T Natarajan has been ruled out from the ongoing 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The pacer will be missing the tournament due to a knee injury. “Yes, he has been ruled out of the tournament,” the source pointed. The 30-year-old left-arm pacer did not feature in the last two games of SRH and he just played two games this season, taking two wickets.

SRH has played four games in this IPL season so far, winning one and losing three. In their last game against Punjab Kings, the Warner-led side registered a nine-wicket victory.

After the fixture against Punjab Kings, skipper Warner gave a fitness update on Natarajan, saying: “He has obviously got a sore knee. Given the circumstance in these bubbles, if he goes and gets a scan, he obviously has to sit out for seven days. He has to get back in quarantine.”

“We are just monitoring him at the moment. The physios are doing their best to analyse from a face point of view but he obviously has to go out and get a scan at some point,” he added.

Natarajan had also missed four T20Is against England and he only made his way back into the team for the final T20I of the five-match series after working on his knee at the National Cricket Academy.

SRH will next take on Delhi Capitals on Sunday in the IPL at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Strength of MI is to fight till the end: Boult

Mumbai Indians pacer Trent Boult on Thursday said the strength of his side has been to fight till the last ball of the match and the bowlers have been able to do that in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mumbai Indians has so far played four matches, winning two and losing two. The side’s middle-order has struggled in all four games and the side has failed to post a total in the range of 170-180 even once. “I am sure the middle-order is not too pleased with how things have gone so far. I know the guys are hungry and desperate to put in a good performance in our last game in Chennai. Not an ideal start, we would like few more runs on the board. The strength of the side is fighting till the end and the bowlers have managed to do that. It should be an exciting game against Punjab, hopefully, we will get few more runs on the board,” said Boult while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

When asked about the challenge of bowling in the dew, Boult said: “It is definitely tricky when the ball gets wet like that. The other night was the worst it has been in terms of dew. In terms of being a foreign player, it is something we are not used to in New Zealand, but it is part and parcel here, as bowlers you need to be able to execute some kind of deliveries so that is a good challenge. Ideally, you want to see an even contest between bat and ball.”

“From a personal point of view, I just swing the ball around, but the surface and conditions here have not allowed that. But, that’s the beauty of coming to this part of the world, the challenge becomes to adapt to these kinds of conditions. I am enjoying the challenge, it has been great bowling with Bumrah and seeing how he operates. Yeah, it is a great challenge and I am looking to just improve my game,” he added.

Abhishek will be an all-rounder: Rashid Khan

SunRisers Hyderabad spinner Rashid Khan believes that Abhishek Sharma will become a proper all-rounder for India in the future. A dominating bowling effort from Khaleel Ahmed and Abhishek Sharma had helped SRH restrict Punjab Kings to a paltry 120 in 19.4 overs on Wednesday here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. In response, SRH (121/1) chased down the target with eight balls to spare thanks to a fine batting performance by Jonny Bairstow. “You will become a proper all-rounder for India in the future who will a lot of matches for his side. You have a lot of ability. If you work hard, you will get the success,” Rashid told Abhishek Sharma in a video posted on the official website of IPL.

Talking about his own performance, Abhishek told Rashid: “I was practicing my bowling a lot. Suddenly, when we were in our huddle before the match against Punjab Kings, skipper David Warner told me that you are going to bowl the first over. I did not hear it nicely so confirmed it once again. I asked you a lot about this role, I was also confident of doing the job for our team.”

“During lockdown, we were at home. My father is my childhood coach, he was a left-arm spinner so I have learnt a lot from him during lockdown. The variation like slider, I learnt that. I had the confidence of implementing in the game. I think I can bowl this ball at any stage of the game,” he added.

In the match against Punjab Kings, Abhishek returned with figures of 2-24 from his four overs. This win was Hyderabad’s first in the ongoing season of the IPL. SunRisers Hyderabad will next take on Delhi Capitals on Sunday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

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