The Royal Challengers Bangalore kick-started their Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 campaign in style with a thrilling two-run victory over the Mumbai Indians, but failed to hold their nerves against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, suffering a heartbreaking Super Over loss on Sunday. A re-worked schedule means Bangalore take on Hyderabad again on Tuesday at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
Venkatesh Prasad, the former Indian pacer and RCB's bowling coach, admitted that both games were very close and RCB were probably 20 runs short of a defendable score in the first game, and 130 was difficult to defend in the second. But Prasad appreciated the way the team had shown character on both occasions.
"Our bowlers really stood for the batsmen in both the games as they had to defend low scores," said Prasad.
Vinay Kumar, the leading wicket-taker for Bangalore last season, had done well against Mumbai by picking three wickets and defending ten runs in the final over. Taking charge in Zaheer Khan's absence, Vinay was the obvious choice to bowl the last over against Hyderabad where he conceded just six runs in the last over to push the match into the Super Over. But he failed to keep it tight in the all-important six balls, taken apart by Cameron White, who hammered two sixes, as Hyderabad amassed 20 runs.
"What Vinay did in the two games was fantastic. He's grown in confidence after those performances," said Prasad. "We have to appreciate his confidence in taking on the responsibility of bowling the last overs, and also bowling the super over. He executes the strategies formed in the bowlers' meeting on the field. Unfortunately, he wasn't able execute in the Super Over, but that happens."
Bangalore's over-reliance on Gayle was exposed early this season when he was dismissed cheaply against Hyderabad and Bangalore failed to put up a big score. With AB de Villiers expected to join the squad on Tuesday; Zaheer Khan and Ravi Rampaul fit to play, Prasad believed the team had enough firepower to score a win.
"It's early days in the tournament and am sure all the three departments – batting, bowling and fielding will come good as we play more matches in the coming weeks," said Prasad.