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TheRoyal Challengers Bangalore have been churning out thrillers after thrillers in IPL 2013. Out of their six games so far, four have been absolute nail-biters, including two tied matches!
RCB’s first Super Over this season was in Hyderabad, where Sunriser Dale Steyn proved too good for them. However, having handled that pressure once, the team from Bangalore clinched the game against theDelhi Daredevils in their second Super Over of the season.
While the likes of AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Ravi Rampaul were in the thick of the action in front of a vociferous and adoring home crowd, a young cricketer was soaking in the overwhelming environment he found himself in.
Jaydev Unadkat, who was RCB’s best bowler of the day with 2 for 24 off four overs, struggled to keep his thumping heart in check. After the victory was completed, Unadkat spoke to iplt20.com about the joy of ending on the winning side of such a contest.
“We’ve played out three last-ball thrillers and I’m happy to finally be on the winning side today,” he gushed, referring to the losses against the Sunrisers and their last match in Chennai when a last-ball no-ball cost them the match.
“That loss against the Chennai Super Kings really hurt all of us,” Unadkat said. “We really wanted to win that game because RCB have never done too well there. The way we lost was really heartbreaking for us and it also motivated us all.”
The team utilised that motivation in a real crunch situation, thanks to the presence of prolific hitters in Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli.
“I am very, very lucky to play with guys like Gayle, Virat and AB and not against them. We’re a lucky bunch of bowlers in RCB not to be bowling to these batsmen,” Unadkat said when asked about the team’s batting pedigree.
While it was the senior Rampaul who was called on to bowl the Super Over, Unadkat made no qualms about accepting that he would love to handle such pressure himself. “I would have loved to go out there and bowl the super over in that kind of atmosphere.”
While all the accolades are often reserved for RCB’s power-packed batting line-up, this season it’s the bowlers who have been setting the right platform for the team by restricting the oppositions to a decent score.
“That was the strategy that the team had in mind while picking so many bowlers this season,” said Unadkat when asked if the strengthened bowling has taken a bit of pressure off the batsmen.
“RCB are looking for bowlers who can restrict the opposition to 150-160 and they already have world-class batsmen to score those runs. We, (as bowlers) on our part, are sticking to the plans and delivering for the team.”
One area, however, that remains a concern for RCB is the death bowling. While the last-over misery of the CSK game will be remembered for a long time, on Tuesday night, they conceded 47 runs in the last four overs. Unadkat said the team is aware of the issue and is doing everything to address it.
“We need to be patient and just keep executing our plans. We cannot just go through the motions in the death overs. It will be important for us to practise bowling the yorkers and the slower ones and then implement them in match situations.”
2: Number of batsmen to aggregate 5000 runs in Twenty20 cricket. Chris Gayle emulated Brad Hodge. Gayle also completed 2000 runs in IPL, joining the ranks with Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis.
4: Number of tied matches in IPL – second this year. Interestingly Royal Challengers Bangalore are involved in both the instances.
7: Consecutive matches Delhi Daredevils have played without registering a win in IPL – their last two in 2012 and all five in 2013.
100: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s win-percentage at home this year – four out of four.
103: Runs added by Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers- highest third wicket partnership for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL. The previous record was of 91 between Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers against Mumbai Indians also at Bengaluru in 2011.