Former India batter and now commentator Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Glenn Maxwell is the major reason behind a change in the fortunes of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 202!), as the Virat Kohli-led side qualified for the playoffs of the tournament.
This came against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on October 3, 2021, when the two teams clashed in Sharjah. It was a must-win game for the KL Rahul-led Punjab side, but they couldn’t come to the party and lost the encounter by 6 runs. Glenn Maxwell was named the Player of the Match for his 57-run knock which came in just 33 balls with three fours and fours sixes to power RCB to a competitive 164-run total.
Manjrekar was in awe of Australian big hitter’s batting and said in a video on ESPNCricinfo: “You have got a Maxwell coming in and playing the way he does; RCB’s story has been about Maxwell finding form after the UAE leg.”
He also cherished the efforts of Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, and Yuzvendra Chahal. Especially Chahal, who Manjrekar felt was hurt by his omission from the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 and performed like he had a point to prove.
Manjrekar said, “You can see in the mannerism that it [not being selected in the T20 World Cup squad] has hurt him. The dropping has really hurt him and you will see a better version of Chahal. He is going to make a comeback soon, it’s on the cards.”
RCB Qualify For The Playoffs, Become The Third Team After DC And CSK To Do So In IPL 2021
RCB captain Virat Kohli had won the toss and chosen to bat first. Devdutt Padikkal made 40, while Kohli himself made 25 runs. AB de Villiers contributed 23, while Maxwell decimated the PBKS bowlers taking RCB to 164/7 in 20 overs. Moises Henriques with 3/12 was the pick of PBKS bowling.
In reply, KL Rahul (39) and Mayank Agarwal (57) added 91 runs for the opening wicket, but after their dismissals, RCB tightened the screws on the PBKS chase as only Aiden Markram passed 20 with Shahrukh Khan making 16 runs. PBKS finished on 158/6 and lost the match by 6 runs, as Yuzvendra Chahal starred with 3/29 in 4 overs.