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We were only thinking about getting AB de Villiers out: Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant, who top scored for Delhi Daredevils in their six-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore, said that they were thinking of just getting that one wicket of AB de Villiers

cricket Updated: Apr 22, 2018 10:34 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
IPL 2018,AB de Villiers,Indian Premier League
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman AB de Villiers, right, plays a shot during their IPL 2018 match against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.(AP)

One of the things being discussed during this Indian Premier League (IPL) season is whether Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will regret letting go of Chris Gayle, who has been scoring heavily for his new team Kings XI Punjab. (RCB v DD HIGHLIGHTS)

On paper, RCB have looked short of a hard-hitter at the top and it was proven again when they lost two quick wickets, albeit one to a run out. (RCB v DD SCORECARD)

However, AB de Villiers put those questions to rest, at least for now, with his breathtaking 90 not out on Saturday.

READ | IPL 2018: SRH’s Shikhar Dhawan misses training ahead of CSK match

The SA batsman looked untroubled on a surface that had a bit of grip and turn for the spinners and even as Gautam Gambhir, sensing opportunity opened the bowling with spinners, De Villiers was quick to get rid of them.

Rishabh Pant, who top-scored for the Daredevils and was chiefly responsible for taking them to a challenging total, said that they were thinking of just getting that one wicket of De Villiers.

“We were thinking about only one thing – get him out as early as possible because he was making all the difference today. He played a brilliant knock,” said Pant.

Pant had built his innings to perfection, starting slowly and then stepping on the gas. But all that came to nought due to De Villiers.

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“Iyer and I thought we’ll have a partnership and take it to the end and then attack the bowlers. We planned it out perfectly, but we lost unfortunately. He (AB) was exceptional.”

The dew in the latter part of the game did help as AB’s RCB teammate Mandeep Singh admitted, saying that the ball came a bit easily onto the bat. Mandeep spelt out the strategy while batting alongside the master. The key, he says, is to curb your own temptation and allow him to do the job.

“When he is batting, our job is very simple -- to rotate the strike because we know his ability. AB is AB. He does it every 3-4 games. Whenever I bat with him I try to rotate strike and give it to him. Although we have to ensure the pressure doesn’t get to him and we score whenever chances come by. But it is important to give him the strike.

“It is important to stay in the situation. I think if you see the game against Kings XI Punjab, I was tempted to hit big shots but then I made up my mind that I have stay there for a while (with AB) and not play a super shot and get out. We just needed to build a partnership over there to win the game.”

First Published: Apr 22, 2018 09:11 IST