Former India opener turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has named Anuj Rawat as the star performer in the IPL 2022 game between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) on Saturday. Rawat scored a brilliant 66 runs off 47 deliveries to help RCB chase down a 152-run target with seven wickets and nine deliveries in hand. He added together half-century partnerships with both Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli to guide RCB a win.
While reviewing the RCB-MI clash in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “I could have spoken about Hasaranga or Harshal Patel because they had kept the opposition team on a tight leash. Virat Kohli was also there in the end; he was given out wrongly in my opinion, but the star was Anuj Rawat. He doesn’t get fazed by the occasion.”
The former India player explained: “Anuj Rawat was absolutely stellar because the Mumbai Indians had talked about securing the powerplay, that they will not give runs in any way, and they did not. They were absolutely outstanding. Faf and Anuj Rawat – Rawat was the aggressor; he was the one who was taking the game ahead and doing so continuously.”
Faf du Plessis has managed just 16 runs off 24 deliveries in his 50-run stand for the opening wicket with Rawat and the latter took on all bowlers and did not allow the pressure to fall on others.
Aakash Chopra added: “His (Rawat’s) knock was absolutely exceptional. This tournament has been all about young Indian batters. Abhishek Sharma in the morning encounter, before that Tilak Varma, Shahbaz, Shubman Gill, Ayush Badoni, Sai Sudarshan – I must be missing a few names already. So you can add Rawat’s name to that list. Well done RCB, you played him matches continuously. The guy has the ability to play, uses his feet. There is Bumrah in front of you, it doesn’t matter. I don’t see the name but the ball. You also don’t see my name but my work.”
Aakash Chopra has also opined on the Mumbai Indians’ (MI) loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) which nearly made the IPL 2022 an eight-team affair now. Alongside MUmbai, Chennai Super Kings have now lost their first four matches of the league as well.
He observed: “Mumbai have already made it an eight-team tournament. What is Mumbai doing? They decided to go with just two overseas players. I mean why, how? Tim David, Fabien Allen, Riley Meredith, Tymal Mills – all of them are sitting out. You have Jaydev Unadkat and Ramandeep – you played them but is that going to work?”
Chopra again shared: “You have such a long batting that you have just four bowlers left – Jaydev Unadkat, Basil Thampi, Jasprit Bumrah and Murugan Ashwin and these are your four. It means the fifth bowler will be either Kieron Pollard or Dewald Brevis. Good luck Mumbai. When you play such few bowlers and make a below-par score, there is no way you can win the game. The batting was extremely ordinary although Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma were batting well. But when the wickets started to fall, it was like a cycle stand.”
The veteran, however, praised Suryakumar Yadav for playing a fighting knock that helped Mumbai post a decent total as well. He also added that Yadav’d lone effort can never helped the team to win as well.
“It was good that Suryakumar Yadav was there else this team would have folded up for 125. You have got Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Dewald Brevis, Tilak Varma and Kieron Pollard – they were all done and dusted. When Ramandeep got out, I said it’s over. Suryakumar Yadav fought there till the end. He has played two consecutive good knocks, took the team to a fighting total but not happening. What will one man alone do? That’s what we are understanding from this game,” Aakash Chopra concluded.