IPL 2024 – Eliminator – RR vs RCB – Faf du Plessis looks back on the defeat to Rajasthan Royals

After being knocked out of IPL 2024 by Rajasthan Royals (RR), Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) captain Faf du Plessis said that the Impact Player rule and the dew during the chase meant his side was “20 runs short” of a par total.

After being asked to bat in Ahmedabad, RCB posted 172 for 8 on a fresh pitch. Their bowlers then showed great fight but, in the end, RR were home with four wickets and an over to spare.

“I think with the dew coming in the second innings, we thought we were a little bit short with the bat,” du Plessis said after the match on the official broadcast. “It felt like we needed a push, a few more runs to make it even more competitive. So I did think we were 20 runs shy of a good score on that pitch. But credit to our boys who fought really well, hanging in there right till the end. That’s all you can ask for, a great fight.

“Batting first, it can be tough because the ball is sticking into the surface. You’re thinking 190. But if you lose a couple of wickets then the problem starts.

“If you look at naturally assessing the pitch and the conditions, you would say it’s a 180 pitch because it was swinging up front and was quite slow. So normal cricket, almost like old T20 cricket, 180 is a good score. But what we found out this season is with obviously the extra batter and the longer batting line-ups because of the super sub [Impact Player], your par scores are really not what they used to be, especially if there’s dew. So we knew we needed a little bit more in terms of a score to challenge them.”

At one point, though, it did look like RCB were on track for a par score. They were 95 for 2 after 12 overs and ESPNcricinfo’s Forecaster predicted a final total of 192. But in the next over, they lost a set Cameron Green. Immediately after that, Glenn Maxwell fell first ball trying to hit R Ashwin for a six down the ground.
“That was a shocking shot,” Varun Aaron said on ESPNcricinfo’s TimeOut show. “I understand if it was a ball to be hit, you hit it. [But] it was a good ball coming in. I think that shot was just not on at that point. He could have just absorbed a few balls and then gone big. You already lost quite a few wickets, your big players are in the dugout, and you are the most notable player at the crease at that point and then you play a shot like that, that’s letting your team down on a very big day.”

“If he was in red-hot form, I don’t have an issue with him hitting that first ball straight for a six because 19 times out of 20, he would hit it for a six”

Tom Moody on Glenn Maxwell’s shot to get out

Tom Moody echoed his co-panellist’s views. “I think at the moment where he is at with regards to his form, it was reckless,” Moody said. “If he was in red-hot form, I don’t have an issue with him hitting that first ball straight for a six because 19 times out of 20, he would hit it for a six.

“It’s a bit like what we’ve seen [Shivam] Dube do for CSK. First ball, in his arc, bang goes for six. They are all up applauding it. Maxwell is the same but Maxwell is not in that sweet spot when it comes to form. So I put that down as reckless cricket and an absolute brain fade.”

But du Plessis was “extremely proud” of how his side bounced back from the brink of elimination to make the playoffs. They had started with seven defeats in their first eight games before stitching together six successive wins. All other results that needed to go their way went their way as well.

“A lot of teams would have probably fallen off after one [win] from nine [eight],” he said. “We have got great characters in that dressing room, all of us really put our hands up with a lot of pride and a lot of fight in us to make sure we give our best and give it absolutely everything we have. And to come back like that, winning six games in a row, takes a lot of heart, takes a lot of character. So it’s a sad ending when it goes your way like that, you feel like is it possibly written in the stars that you could do something special here but we weren’t special tonight in terms of just pushing that extra 20 runs with the bat.”

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