In the 10th match of IPL 2021, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) clashed with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
After winning the toss, RCB captain Virat Kohli decided to bat first and opened the innings with Devdutt Padikkal.
On the other hand, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan asked off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to bowl the very first over of the innings. Singh conceded just six runs in that over. The next strike bowler, Varun Chakravarthy, bowled a dot ball before taking Kohli’s wicket. The leggie tosses up the ball, which Kohli decided to play through the covers. Kohli misjudged the turn of the ball and was caught brilliantly by Rahul Tripathi.
The next three balls saw the new batsman Rahul Patidar and Padikkal rotate strike. On the last ball of the over, Chakravarthy deceived Patidar by bowling a flatter delivery, who edged it, and the ball hit the stumps. Thus, Chakravarthy showed the pavilion to two top-order RCB batters in just his first over.
However, the move that surprised everyone was when Morgan decided to replace his leading wicket-taker of the match with Shakib-Al-Hassan in the next over of his spell. Though Shakib was economical initially, the opposition’s batters smashed him for 17 runs in his next over. Thus, the in-form-batsman Glenn Maxwell and Padikkal strengthened the fallen ranks of the Bangalore-based franchise. The two put on a partnership of 89 runs, and the match slipped away from the hands of KKR.
RCB went onto post 204/4 in their allotted 20 overs. Maxwell made 78 runs off 49 balls at a strike rate of 159.18.
Meanwhile, the former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir opined that Morgan’s decision to not let Chakravarthy bowl another over in the same spell was the weirdest decision he had ever seen.
“Virat Kohli was a big wicket, no doubt about it. But that has to be the weirdest kind of captaincy I have ever seen in my life. Someone taking two wickets in the first over, and then does not get to bowl the next one,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
The southpaw reasoned that had Chakravarthy picked up another wicket or dismissed Maxwell, the game could have turned in the Kolkata-based franchise’s favour.
“Probably when you know the in-form batter is in. You could have probably seen the game in the first six overs, had Varun Chakravarthy had picked the third wicket or dismissed Glenn Maxwell. This game could have been over there and then,” the former Indian opener added.
Gambhir gave a back-handed compliment to Morgan, saying that had an Indian captain made such a decision, he would have been subject to massive criticism.
“I am happy that an Indian captain did not make this blunder. Because a lot of people would have actually got their daggers out had an Indian captain made this call. That was probably the most ridiculous captaincy I have ever seen,” Gambhir said.
The cricketer-turned-commentator further slammed Morgan, saying that he had no words to describe this absurd decision.
“I can’t explain that. Because there is no terminology for it – when someone has taken two wickets, and an in-form batter is in and you take off your wicket-taking option in the next over,” he signed off.
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