Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) secured a spot in Qualifier 2 after a hard-fought win over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Wednesday and Virat Kohli lavished praise on the man of the moment, Rajat Patidar.
Coming in early after Faf du Plessis fell for a duck in the first over, Patidar bided his time before beginning a stunning assault in the final over of the powerplay bowled by Krunal Pandya.
He got going soon after and although he had to slow down when wickets fell at the other end, Patidar made sure to stay till the end and score his first IPL century in brutal fashion. He eventually scored 112* in just 54 balls, studded with 12 fours and 7 sixes.
“I told him as well after the game as well that I have seen many impact innings and many innings under pressure over so many years. I have not seen many better than how Rajat played today. Under pressure, big game, first uncapped player,” Kohli stated after the match.
“What he did was very very special” – Virat Kohli
Patidar went unsold in the mega auction but was picked up by RCB as a replacement. After being given a chance in the second half of the season, he had immediate impact knocks and the 28-year-old hasn’t looked back since.
“The magnitude of the game was so big that I was feeling the tension in the air because I have been in those situations where you have to cross the line as a team. What he did was very very special.”
“I don’t think that anyone should take that for granted. You should understand the excellence of the innings and appreciate as a cricketer to watch an innings like that,” Kohli also added.
RCB moves on to Qualifier 2 where they face Rajasthan Royals (RR), against whom they have a win and a loss this season.