Irfan Pathan, a former India all-rounder, praised Virat Kohli’s stewardship in the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) IPL 2023 victory over the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on April 20 in Mohali. Due to a rib injury, regular captain Faf du Plessis was unable to participate as a regular player, so Kohli assumed leadership. Notably, RCB defeated PBKS by 24 runs to earn their third victory in the current IPL season.
Irfan Pathan stated that Kohli brought new vigor to the game and made excellent judgments by frequently switching bowlers. The 38-year-old stated that introducing Wanindu Hasaranga in the third over was a wise decision because Kohli was aware that PBKS’s Matthew Short (8) was susceptible to spin. Hasaranga not only dismissed Short but also Shahrukh Khan (7), and played a crucial role in RCB’s victory.
“He brought a distinct aura. In addition to the energy, the decision-making entails altering the bowling frequently. Hasaranga’s selection to bowl the third over was a masterstroke, as he knew that Matthew Short struggles against spin. Consequently, he employed spin and seized control of the match,” Pathan stated during a post-match discussion on Star Sports.
“When Siraj ran out Livingstone, he was dragged in from the other end, followed by the fielding (Siraj’s run out of Harpreet Singh). When you bring in that much vitality, it wears off. It appeared as though Virat Kohli had completed the run-out,” he added.
RCB defeated PBKS in Mohali by 24 runs.
After being summoned to bat first, RCB set PBKS a 175-run target with half-centuries from Kohli and Impact Player Du Pessis. The Proteas batsman scored 84 runs off 56 deliveries, while the batter scored 59 runs off 47 balls. Harpreet Brar and Arshdeep Singh each claimed one wicket for PBKS, while Nathan Ellis took two.
RCB bowlers claimed early wickets, and with 10 balls remaining, PBKs were bowled out for 150. Mohammed Siraj contributed significantly to RCB’s victory by taking four crucial wickets. Due to his dazzling spell, he emerged as the Game’s Most Valuable Player. Hasaranga captured two wickets, while Wayne Parnell and Harshal Patel each claimed one.