IPL 2022: Faf du Plessis backed Virat Kohli to find his form despite another poor outing with the bat against Rajasthan Royals.
Batting stalwart Virat Kohli has been horribly out of form in this Indian Premier League (IPL) season but he got the backing of his Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis, who on Tuesday said “great players go through phases like this”. Kohli was promoted to the top of the order against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday after scoring back-to-back ducks but that move also did not yield the desired result as the former India captain was out for nine. RCB lost the match by 29 runs.
“We tried changing the batting line-up today and we feel that they can try playing positively,” du Plessis said when asked about a struggling Kohli being sent to bat as an opener along with him.
“(Kohli) Can’t go into a shell. Great players go through phases like this and we wanted to get him in the game straightaway so that he doesn’t sit in the sidelines and think about the game. It’s a game of confidence.”
Kohli, who hasn’t scored a hundred in any format for more than three years now, had got out to first ball ducks in successive games before Tuesday’s match with a familiar pattern of dismissals outside the off-stump.
Du Plessis, however, admitted that his top-order batters are lacking in consistency and his side will haver to fix the problem sooner than later.
“The top order is a trick we need to fix. You need someone in the top four to bat through and we haven’t done that consistently,” he said.
“It’s pretty similar to the previous game. If you hit the deck hard in the first few overs, it is hard to get away. The dropped chance cost us,” said the former South Africa captain.
Royals captain Sanju Samson said his side’s innings was “looking dicey” after 15 overs but they won the match thanks to Riyan Parag, who hit 56 not out off just 31 balls.
“We have been backing him (Parag) and he came in and showed the world how explosive he can be,” Samson said.
“We were 10-15 runs short with no dew and the wicket turning a bit. We were waiting for the back end of the batting order to go out and win matches. Almost everyone has put up a match-winning performance until now.”
He said the chat before Royals’ run chase was about putting pressure on the opposition as it is tough for batters to change gears.
“In this kind of conditions, it was a matter of putting pressure. We do make a couple of changes here and there based on the opponents and conditions.
“But it is important to give clarity to people who are being dropped. Credit to Karun (Nair) to accept and understand that we needed (Daryll) Mitchell’s one over today and he can come in later.”
Player of the match Parag said, “A little bit of satisfaction. The Royals have backed me for the last three years and I am paying off bit by bit. I love pressure and try to showcase my abilities and do my best.
“During the timeout, we agreed on 140 to be a good score and we tried that and worked well in the end,” said Parag, who also took four catches.
“Hasaranga’s second over to me, I wanted to target him but had to curtail it because we lost wickets and then go after Hazlewood and Harshal.”