Faf du Plessis praised Dinesh Karthik after registering his first win as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, comparing the finishing skills of the veteran Indian batter to that of MS Dhoni. The South African star’s comments came after RCB triumphed in a low scoring thriller against Kolkata Knight Riders at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
In the pursuit of 129, RCB was rocked early on by a great new ball bowling from KKR pacers Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee. RCB was 17/3 in just 2.1 overs, losing openers du Plessis and Anuj Rawat, before Yadav got the big wicket from Virat Kohli, who started well.
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However, RCB recovered with handy contributions from David Willey (18) and Sharfane Rutherford (28) after which all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed came up with a 27 quickfire. However, RCB was shocked at the endovers when Tim Southee took 2 wickets, including those from Rutherford and Wanindu Hasaranga.
With 17 runs needed in the last 2 left, RCB had Dinesh Karthik in the middle and as expected, the veteran wicketkeeper batter finished off to perfection. When it took 7 from the last left, Karthik pulled an Andre Russell bouncer to a six before hitting a line to take them past the finish line.
“Just the experience. The runs were never a problem. We just needed to have wickets in hand. DK is as close as possible to MS Dhoni when it comes to being ice cold,” said Faf du Plessis, explaining the decision to keep back Karthik for the end overs.
Notably, Karthik had hit 32 out of 14, 3 sixes and as many boundaries in RCB’s opener against Punjab Kings, but his efforts ended in vain as Mayank Agarwal’s men chased 206 with one to spare.
Meanwhile, Faf du Plessis chatted about the low scoring thriller and said the team needed a close match early to make the tournament easier. The captain also said he is lucky to have so many senior players, including Kohli and Karthik, to turn to for help.
In particular, Du Plessis had said he would take a concerted approach to captaincy after being named as Kohli’s successor ahead of the season.
“Very happy. The small margin game is very important in the beginning. Small score, we just tried to be positive, but bowling very good from their sailors. The ball swung a little earlier, but today there was seam and bounce. Two three days ago, it was 200 and today it was 130. We would like to be more convincing,” added du Plessis.
“I rely on other people for help. We have great people in the camp. There is good communication in the group. The guys have been great. They have supported me. They come to me with ideas,” he added.