Rising Pune Supergiant opener Rahul Tripathi has been one constant in the Steve Smith-led IPL team this season. Of the nine innings he has played, seven have been 30-plus knocks, and considering the T20 format, it is as consistent as it can get. (HIGHLIGHTS)
Kolkata Knight Riders chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, felt the fury of Tripathi’s form as the opener’s robust 52-ball 93 guided RPS to a four-wicket victory at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday night. (SCORECARD)
Kuldeep has been a bit of unknown quantity to most batsmen, but Rahul Tripathi showed the simple tactic to handle tricky spinners, with a confidence that is sometimes seen more in Indian domestic players than those who have sealed their national team spot.
For Tripathi that tactic was to not let Kuldeep pitch the ball, coming forward each time to smash him for three sixes in a row. The Eden Gardens was somewhat silenced, but the batsman didn’t throw it away. He was there until RPS had almost reached the target.
Tripathi, who had to be content with his second half-century of IPL 2017 rather than its fourth centurion, was declared the Man-of-the-Match.
Taking it easy
“I enjoyed my batting today. I was getting good starts, but I was not able to push on,” he said during the presentation ceremony.
“Today we won, so very happy I could contribute and bat long. I’m just trying to middle the ball, this is all new for me (the large crowds), so I’m just trying to concentrate on what I can do.
“Watch the ball, hit the ball is my way. I know there are areas I need to improve, but I’m just doing what I can. I hit six sixes two times in an over recently. I’m happy I’m hitting the ball well, and hopefully it continues,” said the Maharashtra batsman, who hit seven sixes.
“We had a very good start, and the run-rate was always down, so the idea was to play till the end. (Skipper) Steve Smith and (coach) Ian Fleming told me to just hang in there, not to try anything extra. I enjoyed hitting sixes, the wicket was good, and it was coming onto the bat.”