Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) dismal run in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 continued, as they lost yet another game. In the process, they crashed out of the tournament. On Monday, playing against Mumbai Indians (MI) at their fortress Wankhede Stadium, RCB went down fighting in the last over by 5 wickets. Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 56 to guide his team to their 8th win in the tournament from 10 games. RCB pacer Aniket Choudhary, who bowled the penultimate over in his side’s loss, had a good game overall but failed to clinch it for his side in the end.
At the post-match presser, Choudhary said that his team did not post a big total on the board and that was the main reason for the defeat. “I don’t think so (when asked if the total was enough). We batted first and we understood how it behaved. I think if we had bowled more slow balls, we could have stopped them from getting to the target. It was a decent wicket, but we bowled a few bad balls here and there,” he said.
Choudhary conceded just six runs in the first five balls of the 18th over when RCB were defending 18. He later said that he was in two minds as to what to bowl to Hardik Pandya. “As far as the last ball is concerned, I was wondering whether to bowl him (Hardik Pandya) the slower one or the fast one. Maybe it was a match-changing point,” Choudhary said.
In the time of dilemma, it was AB de Villiers who asked Choudhary to bowl the hard length. “I asked him (de Villiers) ‘what should I bowl?’ And he said ‘maybe he is ready for the slower one, so I think you should go with the hard length’. And when someone as great as AB tells you do to something, such a world-class player and if he is giving you a suggestion, it’s very hard to go against it. And I thought he is right,” said Choudhary.
However, captain Virat Kohli was not quite impressed with his bowling. Choudhary revealed, “And Virat wasn’t happy with what I bowled. He thought I did the wrong thing and I should have bowled full and slow.” Choudhary had practiced with Team India before the start of Test series against Australia and called it a great experience. Apparently, Kohli and other Indian batsmen used the experience of playing him in the nets to counter the Mitchell Starc threat.
“It was a very good experience, if you are bowling to top Indian batsmen and getting them out, that’s where I got noticed by Virat that I’m from Rajasthan and I am bowling well,” Choudhary said. “Once you bowl to the best and get them out, I don’t think there is a better way of gaining confidence than that. After that whichever domestic competition you go, like when I played Ranji Trophy, I was very confident. It appeared a lot easier then,” he added.
In the end, Choudhary rued lack of luck as RCB could not qualify for the play-offs. “Things didn’t go our way. Things happen quite fast in T20 and when things don’t go your way (the team fails),” he concluded.