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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

MI vs RCB: On Anushka Sharma’s birthday, why Virat Kohli needs all good wishes

The Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Monday is a battle of contrasts with MI playing for a play-off spot while the Virat Kohli-led RCB playing for pride. Meanwhile, Kohli’s girlfriend Anushka Sharma is celebrating her birthday today

ipl-2017 Updated: May 11, 2017 20:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The best birthday gift Virat Kohli could give to his girlfriend Anushka Sharma would be a match-winning innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Monday.
The best birthday gift Virat Kohli could give to his girlfriend Anushka Sharma would be a match-winning innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Monday.(HT Photo)

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma turned 28 on Monday, and, while fans across social media platforms wished her on her birthday, perhaps a few should also make way for Virat Kohli, who will lead his side against Mumbai Indians (MI) later Monday; hoping to spring a surprise win with his side that has been hapless in the Indian Premier League (IPL) so far.

Well, special days call for memorable gifts and perhaps the best that Virat Kohli can gift his girlfriend Anushka Sharma and their fans this evening is a match-winning innings.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are placed second-last in the table and are virtually out of the competition. After their loss against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the previous game, Kohli, too, admitted that they’ll enjoy the last couple of games and not think too hard regarding the pressure that surrounds the team.

Sultan: The last time Royal Challengers Bangalore played against Mumbai Indians, Virat Kohli had scored 62; nearly half of what his team had managed to put up. The last time Kohli played at the Wankhede Stadium, he had a double hundred to his name. While those can boost his morale to a great deal when he walks out in the middle on Monday, Kohli has to ensure that he leads from the front with a knock true to his credentials.

Rab ne bana di Jodi: There can’t be a more explosive pair going out to take guard in the IPL than Chris Gayle at one end and Virat Kohli on the other. However, the duo has clicked just once in this season — Gujarat Lions unfortunately being the chosen one.

Against a formidable side like that of Mumbai Indians, the RCB camp will hope the dup fire in unison and set a perfect platform for their side to pile up a hug total.

(NH)10 wickets: It’s often said that batsmen score runs, bowlers win you games. To bundle out an opposition, taking those 10 wickets are as important as putting up runs on the board. However, to RCB’s utter dismay, they’ve bundled out an opposition only once this season, only to get bundled out in 49 runs.

They’ve picked up 52 wickets so far in the nine matches in which they bowled — one washed out — and if they need to stop a team like MI that can bat deep down, their bowlers will have to ensure they bowl far more disciplined spells.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan: “It’s lack of intent by the guys, fearful of getting out after failing and that’s never a good feeling. That’s all that it boils down to.” Well, those were the captain’s words after his side lost their last game against Gujarat Lions.

To cap it off, it has been this lack of fighting spirit that has led RCB to where they are at the moment. Mumbai got off to a poor start against them but won the game eventually, KKR managed to defend that paltry 131 but RCB are yet to show any such signs whatsoever.

Foreign recruits hain mushkil: A major problem for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season has been the poor show put up by their foreign recruits. Gayle scored a terrific 77 against Gujarat Lions while AB de Villiers had a 89 to his name in his first game against Kings XI Punjab. But apart from that, the world’s two most explosive batsmen are yet to show what they’re capable of. De Villers is yet to aggregate 89 since that innings having scored 64 off the next five matches so far. In the bowling department too, apart from Samuel Badree, none of the foreign bowlers have been impressive.

First Published: May 01, 2017 12:39 IST

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