Former India batsman Aakash Chopra admits that he has been proven wrong by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who currently stands at third place on the points table with 5 wins in 7 matches before the IPL 2021 was suspended.
Out of those 5 wins for Virat Kohli’s team, 3 of them came at the stodgy, turning track at the Chepauk in 3 games, which Aakash Chopra didn’t think was possible considering their death bowling woes of past seasons, and over-reliance on overseas batsmen, who generally are vulnerable against spin, barring AB de Villiers.
In Chennai, RCB registered two close victories over Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad by 2 wickets and 6 runs respectively, and their leg was capped off with a daunting win over Kolkata Knight Riders by 38 runs.
“The concern for Virat Kohli has been that he does not have good bowlers for the death, this time that task happened very well. Let’s be honest, I had thought RCB would get stuck in Chennai as their bowling will not work and there are so many overseas players in the batting,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
The single most reason for the change was Harshal Patel: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra was effusive in praise for Harshal Patel, who currently holds the purple cap with 17 scalps to his name. The seamer started the tournament with a 5-for against Mumbai and barring a couple of blips – against Ravindra Jadeja, and KL Rahul- Harpreet Brar – Patel was largely impressive with the ball.
The 43-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator also heaped praises on Mohammed Siraj and Shahbaz Ahmed for the superb bowling display against KKR and SRH respectively.
“The big change that has been seen happening – in 2019 they were getting hit a lot in the death overs, in 2020 that graph started going lower and in 2021 it went further down.
That means while you were conceding 12-13 runs per over till 2019, now you have gone under 10, that too when Harshal Patel bowled two very expensive overs. That means you are doing a lot of things right,” Aakash Chopra commented.
“The single most reason for the change was Harshal Patel. He took the wickets and had the Purple Cap on his head. When he took five wickets in the first match against Mumbai, the change started to happen, they got the belief that they can do it.
“How well Mohammed Siraj is bowling. He bowled one over to Andre Russell, continuous wide yorkers, he did not bowl a single ball that could be hit for a six.
“Shahbaz Ahmed came in the middle, he bowled an odd over where he took a couple of wickets. The performances were coming together quite nicely in the bowling department,” concluded the former opener.