Bengaluru: Explosive batter Glenn Maxwell said Sunday that he enjoyed batting at No. 4 for Royal Challengers Bangalore as well as for Australia, after his 44-ball 77 helped his IPL side to a narrow seven-run win against Rajasthan Royals here.
Maxwell struck six boundaries and four sixes during his knock while adding 127 runs with his captain Faf du Plessis (62) for the second wicket for the pair’s third century stand this season as their partnership took RCB to 189 for 9.
In reply, Rajasthan Royals fell short by seven runs as they could only manage 181 for 6 despite a late surge.
“It’s a position (No. 4) I don’t mind batting, I have done it for Australia when we lose early wickets. They (RCB) have given me the freedom to go out there and express myself,” Maxwell said at the post-match presentation.
“(I) came into the season with good form, and have that trust from the changeroom, that makes the difference. (The) new ball skidded on nicely, so we had to be busy and proactive. I think the way we ended the powerplay set the foundation, although there was a bit (of) chaos in the end,” he said.
The Royals fought back to take seven wickets for 50 runs in the RCB innings.
RCB stand-in captain Virat Kohli praised Maxwell and du Plessis as well as pacer Mohammed Siraj.
“We had this discussion during toss. The pitch looked dry and I mentioned to the guys they will have 10 overs under lights which is very difficult here. The advantage was the ball got scuffed up. However, with the impact player rule and the extra batter, games are always on. That’s why (there have been) so many close games,” he said.
“The counter-attack from Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) and Faf (du Plessis) was even better than the Chennai game, it was a better surface that day. Maxi took the game away in just four overs. We thought 160 might be enough but the way they batted helped us to 190.”
Kohli said Siraj, who dismissed Jos Buttler for a two-ball duck, has justified donning the Purple Cap.
“He’s Siraj) got him (Jos Buttler) out in the past and he’s bowling as well as I’ve ever seen. Running in with the new ball he shows that intent and the confidence, he has the Purple Cap and for good reason. He’s leading the attack and hopefully Josh (Hazlewood) comes in next game.”
Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson defended the team’s decision to send Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of Jason Holder as his side, despite making 61 runs in the last 30 balls, lost narrowly.
“Ashwin, with his experience, has delivered in the pressure moments in the last couple of games. A six and a four in the Ahmedabad game and we felt we could count on his experience,” Samson said.
“When you are playing on this ground, 10s, 12s, 13s in an over are chaseable. It is about getting the momentum, normally, Hetty does it for us, but he had an off-day, one shot here and there does it for us.
“The thought keeps on changing, depending on how the wicket plays, we decide on the time when a wicket falls.”
Samson said his players need to pull up their socks and come back stronger in the next game.
“In the IPL games, wins and losses are done in very small margins, keep checking small boxes, we need to keep on checking all those. If we had two losses.”