A dejected Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul blamed sloppy fielding for his team’s 14-run defeat by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL Eliminator, while acknowledging that Rajat Patidar’s brilliant hundred was the difference between the two teams. 28-year-old Indore man Patidar scored a 54-ball 112 not out to single-handedly win the IPL Eliminator for RCB. “I think it’s pretty obvious – the reasons why we didn’t win. We let ourselves down in the field. Dropping easy catches never helps. The difference was obvious Patidar played such a knock. When someone in the top three hundred scores, more often the team wins,” Rahul said after the game.
Patidar was dropped three times on the day en route to his hundred and Rahul was furious with his team fielding.
“They played very well and we were poor,” he summed up.
However, he was happy that they finished in the top four as a new franchise in their first season.
“We will take back a lot of positives. It’s a new franchise. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, every team does. We have to try and come back stronger. It’s a young team. They will learn from their mistakes, go back home and try to become better players.”
Special credit was given to Mohsin Khan, who was once again a shining star in an otherwise poor bowling effort.
“Mohsin showed everyone how good he is and what skills he has. As he grows with confidence he will be able to clock speeds that are much higher. Hopefully he will learn and develop a few more skills by next season.”
Patidar’s hundred is one of the best I’ve seen, says Du Plessis
RCB skipper Faf du Plessis kept talking about young Patidar, who he says has a good head on his shoulders.
“I’m over the moon. For a young lad to play like he did. The way he celebrated it also says he’s got a good head on his shoulders. His hundred was one of the best I’ve seen in the IPL, Du Plessis said.
Patidar hit 12 fours and seven sixes in his stroke and what impressed his skipper was how he played shots around the wicket.
“He has every opportunity. Every time he attacks, he puts the pressure back on the opponent.”
No discussion is complete without a mention of ‘King of Death’ Harshal Patel, whose 18th turned out to be the decisive one.
“A special card I can pick. He bowls the important overs. His penultimate over changed the game for us.”
It wasn’t in my power not to get picked at an auction, says Patidar
Rajat Patidar was ignored at auction this year to be chosen as an injury replacement, but the 28-year-old never cared about things he couldn’t really control.
“I was busy playing for my club after the 2021 IPL. I wasn’t chosen after the 2021 IPL, but I had no control over that.”
Throughout his innings, Patidar said his ability to make up for the punt balls is his real strength.
“I never feel any pressure because I think I have the ability to make up for the points,” he said.
The last left from the Powerplay where he launched in Krunal Pandya gave him confidence that this could be his day after all.
“When I timed the ball, my focus was on it. The last one left from the power play when Krunal was bowling me, my execution then went fine and I gained confidence after that. The wicket was pretty good and I played some good shots .”
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