The Royal Challengers are only making it hard for themselves by playing ordinary cricket. With their batting line-up, they should have easily scored the runs against the Deccan Chargers and ensured a place in the semis. Instead by batting senselessly, they lost it.
Sometimes the problem with having a strong batting line-up is that those at the top of the order feel that since there is enough batting to follow they can indulge themselves a bit and go for adventurous shots. With few quick wickets, the pressure on the lower order batsmen mounts and with every dot ball that pressure increases.
The fact also is that a lower order batsman, however capable he may be, is batting down there simply because he is not good enough to be at the top. It could be because of his inexperience or a certain fragility in temperament.
Then there is the crowd factor. Hitting a big six gets huge applause and who doesn’t like that heady feeling; sometimes though, the situation may not call for the big shots and pedestrian ones and twos may do the trick. Routine can get boring but that’s how the best practices are built and the results are there to prove it. Partnerships too are important in this format and a team that builds good partnerships will invariably put up a decent score on the board.
Kevin Pietersen’s absence from the team doesn’t help as he is a destructive batsman and can also hold an end up, if needed for the batsman at the other end to settle down.
The Rajasthan Royals were stopped by the genius of Tendulkar and for once Shane Warne got it wrong by holding back Yusuf Pathan. He may have done so because he wanted Pathan to take on Harbhajan, but with half the batting side back in the pavilion it was asking too much of Pathan to win them the game when the asking rate was over 11 runs an over.
It is far tougher to play a cavalier innings when the asking rate climbs up than when batting first. It is now a must win game for both teams but the way the Kings XI are sneaking up, there is now no such thing as a comfort zone for teams.