IPL 2023, MI vs RCB Emotional Rollercoaster: Rohit’s meme run continues, lame lap shots & Anuj sizzles with the gloves

Virat Kohli has loved charging the pacers in this IPL, a move that has considerably upped his strike rate in the Powerplays this year. And so, he went down the track in the first over to Jason Behrendorff but it shaped out to be a slog. He wasn’t up to the pitch but that’s common with the pacers; in these scenarios he usually goes for the aerial on-the-up punch in the V, but this time, he went for a swipe across the line and unsurprisingly edged behind.

Somehow, both the umpire and Kohli missed the fat edge and a DRS was taken and Kohli threw his head back at the replay and briskly strode out. One ball prior to that, Faf du Plessis was dropped by Wadehra at midwicket and that brought Kohli on strike. Would Mumbai have preferred du Plessis’s wicket to Kohli’s given a choice?

– Sriram Veera

A lame lap shot

Anuj Rawat’s wicket fully bore the perils of premeditation. Just as Jason Behrendorff was loading up, Rawat shuffled across and was progressively crouching so that he could scoop the strapping left-arm seamer. Behrendorff spotted his design and flung the ball wide outside the off-stump. Midway through the ball’s flight, Rawat realised the folly, but then, he was left with few other alternatives but to change his shot. From a half-bent, unsteady position, he opened his bat face to steer one down to third man.

Improvisation of an improvised shot gone awry. He found himself in an awkward position and played a strange, nothing shot. Neither a scoop nor a steer, he ended up tapping the ball over the slip cordon for Cameron Green to complete the catch. Such indiscretion seemed contagious as Faf du Plessis attempted a similar shot of Cameron Green and failed. Fortunately, Faf managed little connection on the ball.

– Sandip G

All energy and (bleeding) runs

Chris Jordan is a captain’s dream. He expends every ounce of his energy on the field. He runs for his life when chasing even the most lost of lost causes of boundaries, effortlessly lungeing on the field. He saved a gloriously struck drive off Glenn Maxwell to save a certain four. He has a bullet throw too from the deep. Then he steams in to have a crack at the batsman with the white-ball and that’s when he undoes all the good work on the field.

He runs in with brisk intensity and purpose and then ends up bowling a pair of short balls at Glenn Maxwell, who fetches both into the upper tiers of the stadium. It’s his sixth season in the league, but with the fifth franchise, and that probably tells the story of his travails in the IPL. But quite why he still manages to spark bidding wars and brought for Rs 3 crores of excess (on three instances) is something of a mystery. He is a captain’s dream, but not when he bowls.

– Sandip G

Who wins the Razzie for the lap shot? Rohit or Faf du Plessis?

The other day it was Rohit Sharma with an awful attempt at a lap shot. Then came Anuj Rawat’s lame lap in this game. Even Faf du Plessis wasn’t to be left behind with his attempt to bag the Razzie award for the lap shot.

IPL 2023 Mumbai: Royal Challengers Bangalore batter Faf du Plessis plays a shot during the IPL 2023 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Tuesday, May 9, 2023. (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)

Down he went on his knee after shuffling to off in the 15th over, but the ball from Cameron Green hadn’t quite arrived yet. Too much committed into the shot to pull out, du Plessis went through in hope. The ball was well outside off and self-preservation took over as he jerked his head away to the on side and the ball popped off the tail end of the bat and though the substitute Vishnu Vinod juggled it for a while, he managed to hold on.

It has to be said, however, that the Razzie for lap still belongs to Rohit Sharma, for that effort against CSK was so bad that it’s destined for YouTube immortality.

– Sriram Veera

DK and pull shot – not happening this season

Dinesh Karthik’s average season with the bat changed a bit but for one important detail: his weak pull shots continued. His pull shots off rank short balls haven’t cleared deep midwicket a few times already in this edition and Tuesday presented one more such occasion. Luckily, before his end, he was dropped on 14 and he walloped a few boundaries to make it his best outing. But then came that weak pull shot. Again, Chris Jordan’s delivery was pretty short but yet again DK couldn’t clear the boundary. He stormed back, cursing himself.

– Sriram Veera

Was Rohit’s lbw out the correct decision?

Rohit Sharma’s horror run and meme run continue. More than the bowler Hasaranga, the captain Faf du Plessis seemed so sure of the lbw that he went for the DRS. Hasaranga’s doubt wasn’t perhaps about the ball’s destination but whether Rohit had skipped down the track a long way to negate the lbw. As the replays showed, he hadn’t.

What remained to be seen was if the ball straightened enough and had not slid down leg side from the middle stump line. It had. And Hasaranga, who had moved away from the team huddle, seemingly unsure about the wicket, was overjoyed at the verdict.

Just a couple of balls earlier, he had removed Ishan Kishan with a lovely slider that had induced an edge off the cut shot. And boy did he scream in joy. Rohit dawdled outside his dugout for a while, seemingly unpleased with the verdict. Was the point of impact over the 3m mark that negates the lbw appeals? Rohit certainly seemed to think so.

– Sriam Veera

Elastic Anuj

It has been largely his nonchalance with the bat that has stood out in the league, but Anuj Rawat has been throwing ample evidence of his skills behind the stumps.

Exhibit A: The outside edge from Ishan Kishan flew off to Rawat but it nestled comfortably into his claws. It did not rebound in his gloves, rather got sucked into. Often, as Dinesh Karthik is prone to, keepers tend to go grab the ball, but like a Venus flytrap folding up when the insect is in its range, he lets the ball bed into his gloves. The gather was so smooth that there was hardly any flourish.

Exhibit B: Mohammed Siraj, in a vengeful mood after getting hit by Kishan, pinged in a stray bouncer miles over Kishan’s head. But like a point-guard in basketball, he jumped high, smoothly and effortlessly, extending every single muscle of his, and nabbed the ball with his right hand (he is a leftie), denying four wides. An impressed Virat Kohli was quick to applaud him. As did Siraj, as Rawat flashed a warm smile.

– Sandip G

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