Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) did enough to clinch a last ball win against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the first game of IPL 2021. The Bangalore-based franchise managed to chase down the target of 160 runs in the final over of the game at the expense of eight wickets.
AB de Villiers and Harshal Patel were the key performers for RCB on the night. The former scored 48 runs in just 27 deliveries during the chase, while Harshal Patel took his maiden five-wicket haul to reduce Mumbai Indians to 159/9 in the first innings. Apart from these two impressive performances from bat and ball, here are key takeaways from the inaugural game of IPL 2021.
Glenn Maxwell hits the ground running
Many eyebrows were raised when RCB spent an excess of Rs 14 crores on Glenn Maxwell during IPL 2021 auction. The Australian all-rounder has not been in the best form during the last five seasons and he was amongst the worst performers for Punjab Kings last season.
However, the change of franchise seems to have made an effect on the Australian batsman. Maxwell scored fluently during his debut for RCB. He managed to score 39 runs in 28 deliveries, giving RCB much-needed acceleration after the fall of two wickets. He also managed to hit two towering sixes, his first big hits since the end of IPL 2019. If Maxwell comes up with similar performances, then it will be RCB who will be having the last laugh after getting the stick for this signing.
Virat Kohli attacking bowling changes reaps rewards
RCB has been struggling with bowling for numerous seasons over the years. The brilliance of the batting unit has been often undone by poor bowling performances. After allowing Mumbai to score freely after powerplay overs, it did feel like history repeating itself.
The introduction of Kyle Jamieson in 11th over when Suryakumar Yadav and Chris Lynn were taking the game away from RCB did the trick. Jamieson and Mohammed Siraj had bowled economic opening spells, so utilising their overs at right time in the middle of innings meant that brakes were applied on MI’s scoring rate. Focusing on taking wickets in middle overs helped RCB to restrict MI to a much lower total. Kohli should be focusing on getting this approach right consistently to have a successful season.
Mumbai Indians continues to start season slowly
For the ninth season in a row, Mumbai Indians suffered defeat in the first game of the season. During the same period, they have also managed to win five IPL titles. The traditionally slow starters continued the same trend on Friday.
However, MI should not be concerned about the defeat. Rohit Sharma looked in good flow before running himself out, while other batsmen for MI also looked good during their brief innings. The bowling unit managed to make it a close game despite having an under-par score on the board. They are likely to shift gears as the season progresses, so nothing to worry for MI as of now.
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