Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

KKR vs RCB: Kohli’s sinking feeling, Padikkal in pain and Russell’s yorker

Emotional Roller Coaster: Kolkata Knight Riders trounce Royal Challengers Bangalore by nine wickets.

Varun Chakravarthy of Kolkata Knight Riders.

Sinking feeling and a shake of head

Much has been discussed on the recent tour of England about Virat Kohli’s propensity to edge behind but lbw is one dismissal that has hovered over his career. It wasn’t a surprise then that Prasidh Krishna, who possesses a good nip-backer, tested him early in the piece in his 200th IPL game. As soon as it began its inward movement, Kohli looked in trouble, with his head tipping outside the line and forcing him to play across the line. Unsurprisingly, the ball missed the wood and rammed into the pad, triggering a pump of fist and a roar from Krishna. He had to wait a touch to legally claim the wicket as Kohli pressed for DRS. No luck though, and as he began to walk away from his partner, Kohli shook his head and trudged off.

Virat Kohli walks back after being dismissed. (BCCI/IPL)

Wince in pain

How not to play an upper cut? Devdutt Padikkal can tell us. Everything was wrong about his attempted upper cut off Lockie Ferguson. The ball wasn’t short enough. The ball wasn’t fast enough. The ball didn’t bounce enough. And poor Padikkal must have realised he was in a soup as soon as he started to bend his knees and lowered himself. Down plunged the tall man but so did the ball. But he was so committed to the shot by then that he couldn’t pull out of it. And so he tried an upper cut to a ball barely above the bails and self-destructed by edging it to the wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik. Padikkal does love playing that shot but that’s how it rolls sometimes.

Leap of joy

Until that ball, Andre Russell hadn’t bowled anything really full, forget a yorker. In the lingo of the IPL comms, he was bowling ‘hard lengths’, hitting the deck short of length. Sometimes, Russell can give an impression as if he is just going through the motions with the ball. Not today. And when AB de Villiers came on to bat, Russell decided to test him with a pretty decent yorker.

It was on the leg stumpish line and perhaps de Villiers was surprised at the choice of weapon, he almost stumbled and lost balance trying to flick the ball. It was too quick and ricocheted off his left leg and fell on the stumps. Off Russell ran to nowhere in particular and leaped in joy. One by one his team-mates came over to envelop him with a celebratory hug.

The big-eyes appeal

Excitement makes Varun Chakravarthy wide-eyed. That’s probably the only piece of discernible emotion in a calm exterior, sometimes veering towards unassuming even. The mystery spinner had a valid reason to be excited. First he took the mickey out of Glenn Maxwell by flicking his fingers over the ball, and then made short work of debutant Wanindu Hasaranga.

On a hat-trick, Varun thought he had Kyle Jamieson out leg-before; convinced enough to readily ask for a review. He proposed, his captain disposed. Eoin Morgan was rather convinced about an inside edge and the pleading fell on deaf ears. Varun’s emotional overload needed Morgan’s indifference to neuter and the skipper was right. In the grand scheme of things, the 30-year-old could well be India’s trump card in the T20 World Cup next month. That’s though with a rider; he needs to stay fit.

First published on: 20-09-2021 at 10:42:42 pm
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