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Virat Kohli will do everything in his potential to keep RCB in playoffs race: Tom Moody
Mumbai: Former Australian cricketer Tom Moody, who has been previously associated with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the coaching set-up, said that star Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter Virat Kohli will do everything in his power to keep his side in the race for playoffs, adding that the team lost steam in the second half of their campaign despite a fine start.
The race for IPL 2023 playoffs is on as the league phase of the biggest T20 league nears its end. As many as five teams are still in contention for the three playoff berths that are up for grabs. With an eye to secure a playoff berth, Royal Challengers Bangalore face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the latter's backyard. With two very important points on the line, RCB is raring to come out all guns blazing against SRH - who will be playing for pride after getting eliminated from the top-four race.
A loss tonight will end the campaign of the Faf du Plessis-led side in the competition. Their defeat will ensure CSK and LSG - both on 15 points - qualify for the playoffs. Even MI (14 points) will stay in contention if RCB lose tonight. So many teams will closely monitor the encounter between the traditional rivals.
Tom Moody believes RCB find themselves in this situation due to the losses they suffered halfway through the competition. The team has been running hot and cold in its campaign during IPL 2023 which impacted them.
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Tom Moody said RCB's form has tapered off through the halfway stage and that they started well but lost steam in the second phase.
"So they need to pull up their socks and go full throttle in the remaining games. They have a player like Virat Kohli, who will do everything in his potential to help RCB stay in the playoffs race."
Former India cricketer Yusuf Pathan highlighted the lack of teamwork in RCB's campaign this year and noted that the team once again looked heavily dependent upon their KGF (Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Faf).
Speaking on Star Sports' Cricket Live, Yusuf Pathan said, "RCB will have to play as a team. Now is not the time that RCB should focus on just three players (Kohli, Maxwell and Faf). Now every player will have to come forward and fulfil his responsibility."
RCB skipper Faf Du Plessis is at the top of the batting charts with 631 runs in 12 matches at an average of over 57 and a strike rate of 154.27. He has scored seven fifties so far. He needs to fire one more classy knock to boost his side's playoff chances.
In 12 matches, though Kohli has scored 438 runs with six fifties at an average of 39.81, his struggle against spin has become more visible as the tournament progressed. It will be interesting how 'King Kohli' bounces back and if he is able to produce a hammering, match-winning knock.
The Australian all-rounder Maxwell has smacked sixes all over the park no matter what conditions and pitches so far. In 12 matches, he has scored 384 runs at an average of 34.90 and a strike rate of 182.85. He has scored five fifties in the tournament so far and he would need to score big to boost his side's final four chances.
On Tuesday Delhi Capitals defeated Punjab Kings quite convincingly to all but end Shikhar Dhawan-led team's playoffs hopes.
Former India bowler Irfan Pathan claimed Punjab's defeat has certainly brought some relief in the RCB, MI and CSK camps ahead of their do-or-die games.
"RCB are in an advantageous position with Punjab Kings' loss. MI will also fancy their chances but their fate will also hinge on the result of the match between CSK and DC," he said.
Irfan also praised Delhi Capitals bowlers Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav for making good use of the Dharamsala track and containing Punjab Kings' batters from scoring runs freely.
"The six overs bowled by Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav made the difference on the Dharamshala track. But PBKS team management's faulty strategies are also to be blamed. Those errors cost them dearly.". (ANI)