Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli called AB de Villiers the most impactful player in the history of Indian Premier League, after a trademark batting masterclass by the South African, helped RCB beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets.
“In my eyes he’s the most impactful player in the IPL,” Kohli said while heaping praise on the South African.
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When de Villiers walked in, RCB needed 76 off just 41 balls. Everyone thought that he and Virat Kohli would steer them past the finishing line. But within minutes Kartik Tyagi picked up Kohli’s wicket and all the pressure was then on de Villiers’ shoulders.
Kohli made 43 off 32 balls with the help of two sixes and a four. The required run rate rose rapidly as RCB struggled to find the big overs, but de Villiers had other ideas.
The seasoned South African launched into Jaydev Unadkat for three successive sixes in the 19th over to swing the match in his team’s favour. Gurkeerat too dispatched Unadkat for a boundary, as RR conceded 25 runs off that over.
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“To be honest, you’re always tense in a chase because you’re not sure how many balls AB is going to get. Credit to Gurkeerat as well got that important boundary,” the RCB captain said.
“It doesn’t matter who the bowler is, he does what he does. AB has always been someone who’s been ready to look at the situation and adapt his game accordingly, Kohli further added.
RCB’s exploit in the penultimate over meant, they needed just 10 of the last 6 balls and AB de Villiers finished the game in style, hitting Jofra Archer for a maximum with two balls still to go.
“If he goes, the opposition know they have a slim chance and there’s a good reason for that. It’s purely because of the presence of someone like him that teams feel we are never out of the team.”