By Amrut Thobbi
It was not that long ago when Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) found themselves in a similar situation to the one they faced in the riveting contest against Pune Warriors India (PWI) on Tuesday. With their backs against the wall, RCB needed a miraculous victory against a strong South Australia Redbacks in Champions League T20 last year. With six runs off the last ball, Arun Karthik whacked a slower ball from Daniel Christian in the stands to propel his side to the semifinals.
Similarly on Tuesday, facing in-form PWI, RCB needed a similar heroic act from one of its batsmen to guide the team to victory, and they found a hero in form of Saurabh Tiwary, who was on strike to the last ball with Bangalore needed three runs. Under pressure in front of his home crowd, young Tiwary did well to hold his nerve to smash Ashish Nehra for a six and ending his team’s losing streak.
While both the aforesaid exploits won memorable matches for the Bangalore franchise, they were victories for the concept of the IPL itself. The Indian T20 league was always seen as a launch pad for young Indian talent, and it is doing well to exhibit some of the bright talents that thrives in this country.
When Karthik hit that famous six last year in CLT20, Anil Kumble said to him, “You have done a Javed Miandad!”
Guess, there must have been someone in the RCB’s dressing room who must have whispered to Tiwary, “You have done an Arun Karthik!”
he 22-year old Tiwary was always seen as one with immense potential. With 28 first-class matches under his belt, Tiwary has respectable average of over 42. He has only three fifties in his IPL career of 44 matches, but then he has batted lower in the order for his side on most occasions. He has a healthy strike-rate of 120+ coming to bat, despite coming in to bat at critical junctures. To be fair to him, he has been overshadowed by the Virat Kohlis, the AB de Villiers, and the Chris Gayles who have stolen the limelight in RCB’s success stories.
hile we praise Tiwary for holding his nerve, it’s important to mention it was Chris Gayle who laid the foundation for RCB’s victory with a blistering knock of 81 runs. Having lost three back-to-back matches, the pressure was on senior players in the team. And the likes of Gayle and de Villiers did not disappoint, as they played crucial role in the RCB win.
The RCB-PWI reminder one of real-life situation. Pune, a young thriving city, is itching for the recognition at the national level which it deserves to get. Pune, like Bangalore, has started to rely on Information Technology to further develop the city with better infrastructure and standard of living. Despite loads of developments over the years, Bangalore has managed to stay few inches ahead of India’s sunrise city – Pune. The story was similar at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday. Despite a respectable total posted by Pune Warriors India, Royal Challengers Bangalore pipped them to win the thrilling tie.
(Amrut Thobbi, an engineering graduate now pursuing Masters in journalism, is an ardent cricket fan. His passion for writing inspired him to give up a sales and marketing job, which he does not regret. By writing on cricket, he wants to relive his dream of becoming a cricketer. He has also worked as a freelance writer in education and technology sectors)