RCB vs KKR Greasy palms come to Shreyas Iyer’s rescue; Virat Kohli exhibits his wrist power; Phil Salt comes up with an unusual cut shot | Ipl News

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Greasy palms, theme of the day

Shreyas Iyer kicked the turf in angst. He had just miscued a pull shot to Yash Dayal. Then he turned to his left, and to his delight, saw the left-arm seamer shelling the catch, letting the ball slip through his palms. Iyer smiled a sheepish smile. RCB men were gutted. Vijaykumar Vyshak, the hapless, cursed his wretched luck. Virat Kohli stared despondently into the skies. The spilled catch was not an aberration, KKR had dropped three, which is around the average catches dropped a game this IPL. Glenn Maxwell was offered two lives in 19 balls, though it did not turn out to be too costly. The count, after 10 games, stands at 28, that is nearly three dropped catches a game.

Kohli unmatches wrist power

Virat Kohli was waiting. He knew Mitchell Starc would seam one back into his pads. Many a left-arm seamer has found success against Kohli this way. But if Kohli is seeing the ball as well as he wants to, it becomes easy fodder for him. He would whip it with those heinous wrists. The sequence played into the predictable pattern. Starc seamed the ball in, only that the ball strayed on the leg-side, a ball most would have glided past fine-leg. Kohli had shuffled across for the flick, but the line was not quite flick-able. But Kohli stood where he was, showing two stumps, and at the last minute, he gave his wrists a ferocious whip and the ball soared over midwicket.

Kohli’s love for the double

The boundaries were aplenty to admire in Virat Kohli’s 83* against KKR. The wristwork in flicks, the timing on the sweeps, the ability to pick gaps on the offside. But two moments stood out apart from all those too, summing up Kohli the white-ball cricketer. There have been fewer better runners between the wickets than him. He ran a total of eight twos for himself in the match and for those two of those, he had to judge them in perfection. First, in the 15th over, a shot to the deep point found Rinku Singh. The throw was terrific from the KKR man, but Kohli – who rarely has to dive to complete his runs – quickly realised he was going to be a bit short. He flung himself forward full length and saved his wicket by the smallest of margins. Then, in the 20th over, he pushed the ball to the deep midwicket and was always determined to come back for the second. This time around, it was a direct hit but Kohli’s sprint got him over the line once again by a matter of millimeters, but no dive needed, just all the energy he had in the world at the end of a long innings.

An unusual cut from Salt

Philip Salt has an unusual late cut. Usually batsmen shift their weight to the back-foot and sway the body a bit to manufacture space for the delicate shot. But Salt remained static, let the ball come into him and then chopped rather than cut the ball. In his hands, even the most dexterous of strokes, assumed a shade of violence. KKR wouldn’t have minded as he propelled them to a pacy start in the company of Sunil Narine, freewheeling as usual.

Narine the opener, back and how

Mandeep Singh, Rahmaullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Narayan Jagadeeshan, Jason Roy… just the names of some of the openers for KKR last year. But this year, they have gone back to Sunil Narine as opener after pushing him down the order. Narine has been an X-factor for KKR at the top of the order earlier and after a round of musical chairs, the team seems to have embraced the idea of the high-risk and high reward Trinidadian again. He was run out in the first game against SRH so the potential fireworks had to wait. Narine often tries to free his arms by moving away from the line of the ball. If he connects it stays hit most times.

Mishits are part of his game but so are clean hits. With an explosive 47 off 22 with five sixes and two fours Narine did what Narine does. KKR raced away to 85 for no loss in the Powerplay with Narine scoring nearly 50 of those runs. The Narine gamble at the top is one worth taking for KKR. One good thing about Narine is he does not waste time or deliveries. He has the licence to thrill and does not have the fear of failure.

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