AB de Villiers pulled off yet another spectacular run chase but the run-machine said that he too feels ‘nervous’ during a run chase.
De Villiers made a brilliant unbeaten 55 off 22 deliveries as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) gunned down 178 runs to beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets.
“Extremely happy. I felt we bowled as well as we could have. Leaked some runs, no-balls which usually Yuzi doesn’t do. Went in feeling we gave away 15-20 too much. But Virat and I spoke that we string together some partnerships and then go ahead. I’m very nervous and erratic in a chase and I get very stressed like any player,” De Villiers, who was adjudged the Man of the Match said.
The game was well in the balance until the 18th over as in the penultimate over, De Villiers smacked Jaydev Unadkat for 25 runs to turn the match firmly in RCB’s favour.
“I want to perform for the team and show the owners I’m here for a good reason. And family, fans, and also for myself. Last game I didn’t perform my role as well as I should have, but this time I did. It’s a cat and mouse game, I always respect the bowlers. If they bowl well to me, they’ll have the upper hand. I didn’t hit even one of them (sixes) off the middle. When Unadkat was bowling, I was looking leg side but to be honest and I was nervous because I knew I had to hit it well. Luckily I got a few away,” he said.
– ‘ABD most impactful player’ –
Winning skipper Virat Kohli heaped praise on De Villiers and said that he is happy with the manner his team has progressed.
“The individuals are stepping up and we’ve been done that all through the tournament, which is why we have 12 points. Very happy right now because after this we get three days off. To be honest, you’re always tense in the chase because you’re not sure how many balls AB is going to get.
“Credit to Gurkeerat as well, he stuck with AB, got that important boundary. It doesn’t matter who the bowler is, he does what he does. AB is always been someone who’s been ready to look at the situation and adapt his game accordingly. In my eyes he’s the most impactful player in the IPL,” said Kohli.
Virat Kohli celebrates after Bangalore beat Rajasthan in a thrilling run chase. – IPL
“If he goes, the opposition know they have a slim chance and there’s a good reason for that. It’s purely because of the presence of someone like him that teams feel we are never out of the team,” he added.
The RCB skipper further said that he won’t be tinkering with the opening slot and backed young Devdutt Padikkal. Kohli also had a word of praise for his bowlers.
“Opening? No our game pattern is very clear. Young Dev has batted beautifully, Finch has played some impact innings. We understand the dynamics and we’re sticking to our plans. The bowling has really stepped up this season. Looks we’re gonna be put under pressure but the guys have come back strongly. Morris has been brilliant, just that energy he brings. Saini, Washy and Isuru as well, the bowling has come together well,” he said.
– ‘Hard pill to swallow’ –
Losing skipper Steve Smith said that it was difficult for him to digest the loss despite putting a competitive total.
“Sure is a hard pill to swallow. Just got AB De Villiers there. That’s two in a row we were in the box seat to win but didn’t. I think it was a good score on a slow wicket. I thought we built the pressure pretty well and it took a pretty special innings to take RCB home,” Smith said.