'It’s always a two-way communication': Srikar Bharat speaks about his on-field camaraderie with Glenn Maxwell

  • The game against DC wasn’t the first time when the on-field camaraderie between Bharat and Maxwell yielded positive results for RCB.
KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell during their partnership. (RCB/Twitter)
KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell during their partnership. (RCB/Twitter)
Published on Oct 11, 2021 09:16 AM IST
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By Aakash Biswas, New Delhi

The year 2021 has been very impressive for the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore so far. Almost after five years, they made it to the Indian Premier League playoffs without bothering about their net run rate or depending upon the other teams’ results. What worked for them was a great run in the India leg of the tournament in which they were placed third and they managed to maintain it even after arriving in the UAE.

As RCB began their campaign in the second half of IPL 2021, they discovered a fresh talent in wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat who showcased his prowess on Friday night against Delhi Capitals in Dubai. During the chase of 165 in RCB’s last league stage match, the 28-year-old not only notch up his maiden IPL fifty but also won the game with a mighty six off the final ball.

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Bharat scored an unbeaten 78 off 52 balls, including 3 boundaries and 4 sixes. During his stint at the crease, he was well backed by all-rounder Glenn Maxwell who also scored a 33-ball 51; his sixth half-century this season. The duo put an unbeaten 111-run partnership for the fourth wicket, steering RCB to a terrific win.

This wasn’t the first time when the on-field camaraderie between Bharat and Maxwell yielded positive results for RCB. In the game against Rajasthan Royals in Dubai, they had stitched a 69-run stand for the third wicket as Kohli & Co took the game home by 7 wickets – the same margin with which they thumped Delhi Capitals.

In a virtual interaction facilitated by RCB, Bharat replied to a Hindustan Times query on his equation with Maxwell. He said: “When I was playing with AB (de Villiers), we had a very good communication out there. He was telling me about the areas to be targeted and what are the strengths of a particular and how he would bowl. It wasn’t like he was running me through the innings but he was allowing me to think on my own. As soon as he got out, Maxi [Glenn Maxwell] came in.

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“We always communicate what are the wickets, how is it behaving like or what are the tough balls to be hit on a particular track or what are the areas we can target, who are the bowlers we can target. So, it’s always a two-way communication. My mindset and understanding of the game and Maxi would also contribute if and any changes need to be made to my gameplan,” Bharat added.

The only difference between the two partnerships was that Bharat was dismissed on 44 against the Royals. But against DC, he played the finisher’s role and came out with flying colours. But on a personal front, missing out on a fifty against RR didn’t really bother him much as he believes in the process more than ‘individual glory’.

“If you look at it, I wasn’t thinking about individual glory. We are always focused on doing well and contributing to the team. So, I was pretty much clear about that. These numbers don’t matter as long as you are doing well. It sometimes limits you off as a person if you are doing something big.

“So, if you are focusing on numbers, I think, you are limiting your own self. I understood it over a period of time. After playing a lot of domestic cricket, you got to be selfless at this level to play up to your potential. I was just concentrating in order not to look at the scoreboard or individual glory, rather than looking at the team's position and what I can, as an individual, add to it,” said Bharat.

After a scintillating knock against DC, it’s time for Bharat to take on Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator on Monday in Sharjah. It’s a must-win game for RCB as if they lose, their journey in IPL 2021 ends there itself. And if they win, they face Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2 for one last time to fight for the ticket to the final.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021