Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have comfortably made it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League 2021. Virat Kohli’s RCB will face the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Eliminator 1 on Monday evening.
RCB will be looking to avoid another Eliminator exit in the IPL as they gear up to face a KKR side that has found their mojo in the second leg of the tournament.
There has been a lot of conjecture about RCB’s batting order, with KS Bharat being entrusted with the number three slot. This means that one of the team’s mainstays, AB de Villiers, will be pushed lower down the order.
However, Bharat put the debate to rest with his match-winning performance in RCB’s final group stage game against the Delhi Capitals. The youngster smashed an unbeaten 78* off 52 balls in a knock which included a match-winning maximum on the final delivery to take his side over the line.
In a conversation with Cricbuzz ahead of the Eliminator, Ajay Jadeja and Shaun Pollock discussed some factors that RCB has worked with this season. Jadeja touted KS Bharat as an integral part of RCB’s wins this season and said:
“KS Bharat bailed them out. They were in a fix. He just didn’t bail them out, he saw RCB through. I don’t see Virat Kohli moving him from the number three spot. He is enjoying his opening and he still wants to open. He also wants to keep AB as deep as possible in that game, so Bharat is suited for that number. He has got the players around him who can play at a different pace, all he needs to do is hold the innings together.”
“That’s exactly what he did. What a finish he had. For RCB in all these years, they have always had talent but haven’t been able to finish games off. This year, they’ve won many games of the last ball. They’ve fought hard and won games and Bharat has been an integral part of that.”
Kyle Jamieson could be an out of the box option for RCB: Shaun Pollock
Former South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock believes Kyle Jamieson could be in contention to return to the RCB playing eleven for the Eliminator against KKR.
Pollock suggested that the pitch at Sharjah has had some uneven bounce and a bowler like Jamieson could be a handful on a surface like that. Here’s what he had to say:
“On a surface that stays low, Jamieson could be a handful with the height he bowls from. He might be the one option in place of Garton or Dan Christian. Just to think out of the box.”
While CSK have sealed their place in the finals, DC will face the winner of this contest in Qualifier Two on Wednesday.