Anuj Rawat is getting better each day in the company of Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis, the youngster stated after guiding Royal Challengers Bangalore to their third win in IPL 2022 beating mighty Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in Pune on Saturday.
After Suryakumar Yadav's unbeaten 68 gave Mumbai Indians a respectable total of 151 for 6, young Anuj Rawat (66 off 47 balls) struck his maiden IPL fifty and anchored RCB to the target in just 18.3 overs.
The left-hander had two fifty-plus partnerships -- 50 for the opening stand with skipper Faf du Plessis (16) and 80 with former skipper and his West Delhi Cricket Academy senior Virat Kohli (48 off 36 balls) for the second wicket to seal the issue.
Rawat scored at a decent strike rate if not rollicking one and had two fours and six maximums in his kitty. “It feels great to score runs and win games for the team. Very happy to be doing this. Was just following my process,” Rawat told after the games at the MCA Stadium.
Rawat, who is into his third IPL season, has been opening the batting for RCB this year and wasn’t able to convert the starts into big innings. In the three encounters before Saturday, Rawat had scores of 21, 0, 26.
“I was starting well, wasn’t able to finish well but did it today (talking about earlier failures). Happy and enjoying the company of Virat and Faf,” added Rawat, on whom RCB shelled out a whopping Rs 3.4 crore at the mega auctions in February.
A confident and an aggressive opener, Rawat on right on the money from the onset against Mumbai Indians hitting Jaydev Unadkat for back-to-back sixes in the second over itself. The 22-year-old showed maturity in building the innings. Even Du Plessis heaped high praise of Rawat.
“I spoke about him before at the start of the tournament (Anuj Rawat). The potential that he has. Lots of conversations between the two of us,” Du Plessis said during the post-match presentation.
A dejected Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Saturday admitted in a roundabout manner that they are not being able to field the best possible side after losing their four matches on the trot. “Just went with the combination that would be ideal. We chose the best from whatever we had,” he reasoned.
Rohit did rue the fact that he got a start and couldn't convert it into big score. “I wanted to bat as long as possible but got out at the wrong time. We had gotten off to a 50-run partnership, but got out at the wrong time. That is hurting us a little bit,” added Rohit.
The batting faltered once again, said the skipper, admitting that total of 151 was never going to be enough. “Definitely not a 150-run pitch, Surya showed us you can do that if you bat sensibly. Credit to Surya, but we knew it wasn't going to be enough.”
Asked about possible areas concern, Rohit said: “We want batters to bat deep. And if you get runs on the board, there's something for the bowlers to do.”
With PTI inputs