Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, has explained why Rajat Patidar batted at number 3, ahead of the likes of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers, in their 180-run chase against the Punjab Kings on Friday.
After the early dismissal of Devdutt Padikkal, Patidar joined Virat Kohli in the middle. The Punjab bowlers kept a tight leash on both the right-handers as they put up a partnership of 43 runs off 46 balls. The skipper was dismissed for a 34-ball 35, which followed the wickets of Maxwell and de Villiers as Harpreet Brar bowled a dream spell.
Patidar, too, then got out for 31 runs from 30 balls as RCB succumbed to a 34-run loss, only their second this season from 7 games. The skipper pointed out that Patidar had an impressive outing in the previous game – 31 off 22 versus Delhi Capitals – and hence they wanted to persist with him at number 3.
“We understand the areas where we lost momentum. The composition of our team is such that someone like Rajat, if you see the last game, controlled the game for us. We give him that freedom and sometimes it doesn’t work out,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match ceremony.
When There’s A Partnership Early, One Of Them Will Come Higher: Virat Kohli
While the skipper has thrown his weight behind the Madhya Pradesh batsman, he also declared that one of Maxwell or de Villiers, who both are in form, will be promoted higher if there is a big opening stand between himself and Padikkal.
The late cameos from Harshal Patel (31 off 13) and Kyle Jamieson (16 off 11) are the positives Virat Kohli is taking from their batting display, which avoided them a heavier defeat than they received. RCB remains in the top 4 with 10 points; they will next meet Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.
“Maxi and AB at 4 and 5 has worked well for us, when there’s a partnership early, one of them will come higher. Didn’t work today but Rajat’s a quality player. A bit of a positive at the end, pulled things back nicely. Harshal and Jamo (Kyle Jamieson) struck a few at the end. A loss of 60-65 would’ve hurt more,” the 32-year-old skipper concluded.