This is the team that’s taking Bangalore to the Playoffs: Harsha Bhogle
RCB thrashed KKR by 78 runs in Match 28 of the 2020 IPL, at Sharjah. Bangalore got 194/2 largely due to AB de Villiers, who cut loose towards the end of the innings to finish on 73 not out, off just 33 balls. In response, Kolkata finished on 112/9, with only Shubman Gill (34 in 25) making a contribution. Chris Morris (4-0-17-2), Washington Sundar (4-0-20-2), and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-0-12-1) were Bangalore’s stars with the ball.
In My11 Circle Cricbuzz Live, Harsha Bhogle hailed de Villiers expressed his surprise at “genius” de Villiers having retired. “That was not an easy wicket,” he explained, making special mention of the fact that he had got those runs out of an unbroken 100-run partnership off 46 balls.
Kohli and de Villiers became the first pair to register 10 century partnerships in the history of the IPL. Gautam Bhimani mentioned how, unlike in most of the other nine stands, “very rarely would you see someone like a Virat Kohli having to play second fiddle.”
De Villiers’ healed back has also allowed him to keep wickets. Bhogle mentioned how that, along with the return of Chris Morris, has made Bangalore a well-rounded side: “This was the team they wanted when they put the auction together,” predicting “this is the team that’s taking them to the Playoffs.”
Joy Bhattacharjya hailed the current Bangalore team as the best he has seen since 2016. He also pointed out how Bangalore won convincingly despite not requiring Shivam Dube to bat or bowl: “You had an all-rounder in reserve who was not necessary because the rest of the guys did their jobs, and that’s fantastic for them, because that means they still got something in their tank even after an 82-run win.”
Bhogle made special mention of Virat Kohli’s influence on Washington Sundar: “I think he has discovered some belief in Washington Sundar… He’s being able to get the best out of him, he’s sending him up at number five, I think Washington Sundar goes to bed every day thinking ‘you know what, my captain likes me.’” With an economy rate of 4.90, Sundar has been one of the stars of the tournament.
With 10 points from 7 matches, Bangalore has caught up with Mumbai and Delhi, but Bangalore’s ordinary net run rate (-0.116) kept them at third place. With 8 points, Kolkata are at fourth place.