IPL 2020: KXIP vs RCB Talking Points - KL Rahul's Shots, Virat Kohli's Drops, Washington Sundar Under-Bowled

KL Rahul 132, Royal Challengers Bangalore 109. That was the score-line for Thursday's game between KXIP and RCB at Dubai, where Rahul's record century powered KXIP to 206 for 3. RCB ended up losing by 97 runs.

IPL 2020: KXIP vs RCB Talking Points - KL Rahul's Shots, Virat Kohli's Drops, Washington Sundar Under-Bowled

KL Rahul 132, Royal Challengers Bangalore 109. That was the score-line for Thursday's game between KXIP and RCB at Dubai, where Rahul's record century powered KXIP to 206 for 3. RCB ended up losing by 97 runs.

Here are the talking points from the game

KL Rahul - a one man show

There were small and useful contributions from some batsmen but Punjab's batting was all about their captain Rahul. He faced more than half of the deliveries and scored 132 off KXIP's 206 runs. Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran hung around for half-century partnerships to set the base, while Rahul went on and on and on till the very end.

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It was not all bang-bang. Rahul was on 72 off 51 at the end of the 16th over, with RCB too doing well to restrict them to 132 for 3.

But the gears changed rapidly from the 17th over, when Rahul attacked Steyn. It didn't help that Kohli dropped a catch in the deep.  The real carnage came in the 19th over when Rahul smashed Steyn for 26 runs. 23 more runs came off Shivam Dube's final over, as Punjab put the game well and truly beyond Bangalore. Rahul ended with 7 sixes and 14 fours. He had an unbroken stand of 78 with Karun Nair, with the latter contributing only 15!

Virat Kohli's drops

Once on 83, and then again on 89. Kohli dropped two simple chances off Rahul in the deep, allowing the game to slip away. Rahul made them pay for the mistakes. Hd those catches beeen taken, RCB could have well restricted KXIP to under 180, which would have been a manageable target.

Kohli admitted his mistakes at the end of the game.

"I have to put my hand up and say a couple of important chances went down. There are days when these kind of things happen on the cricket field, they happen and we have to accept them," Kohli said.  "Yeah it didn't (go well). I think we were good in the middle phase with the ball, they got off to a decent start and we pulled things back nicely. I have to stand in front and take the brunt of it, not the best day in the office, couple of important chances of KL when he was set and that cost us 35-40 runs at a later stage."

Umesh Yadav and Dale Steyn add to RCB's concerns, but why under-bowl Washington Sundar?

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Umesh Yadav: 3-0-35-0.

Dale Steyn: 4-0-57-0.

The figures say it all. More worryingly, not a single over from Umesh came in the death phases. Umesh's third over, where he conceded 20 runs, was the first sign of KXIP shifting gears. Steyn was a touch unlucky when Kohli dropped Rahul in the deep but looks out of confidence, and doesn't have the pace he once had.

However, Kohli not bowling Washington's quota also raises eyebrows. Washington bowled the 8th over, conceding 8 runs - 4 off which came from a misfield by Steyn. He was immediately taken off the attack despite a left-hander in Nicholas Pooran being in the middle, and the ball was instead given to Umesh who went for 20 runs. Washington's next over went for 5 runs, and he didn't bowl after that.

Sheldon Cottrell's salutes

The only way RCB could have chased the target was through a good start. However, Cottrell ensured that wouldn't happen. Devdutt Padikkal, the half-centurion from the first game, went pulling one to mid on in the first over. Cottrell then got Kohli out in similar fashion, leaving RCB 4 for 3, with Mohammed Shami dismissing Josh Philippe at the other end. From that position, it was a near impossible task for RCB.

Ravi Bishnoi and M Ashwin spin out RCB

Once the pacers did the initial trick, the spinners could weave their magic without pressure. Ravi Bishnoi, who was impressive on debut, had another good match picking 3 for 32. Ashwin, playing his first match of the season, got 3 for 21. With Anil Kumble as a coach, KXIP sure have two potent leg-spinners who can do more damage in the tournament.