IPL 2020: AB a “freak”, says RCB head coach Katich

Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach Simon Katich said the team management realised their mistake and ensured AB de Villiers bats at his usual position.

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in action at IPL 2020.   -  BCCI/IPL

Head coach Simon Katich on Saturday described AB de Villiers as a “freak” who single-handedly won Royal Challengers Bangalore the game against Rajashtan Royals.

De Villiers (55 off 22) smashed six sixes to help RCB register a seven-wicket win over Royals after all seemed lost following the dismissal of skipper Virat Kohli (43) in the 14th over.

“He is a freak, isn’t he? That’s why he is the greatest of all time. What we saw was another masterclass, we have seen a number of them already in this tournament.

“He had one here against Mumbai, and obviously the other day he got 73 off 33,” Katich said during the press conference.

The coach also said that they learned from their mistake in the last game and ensured that de Villiers batted at his usual number four spot. The South African star had come in at number six against KXIP on Thursday.

READ| IPL 2020: De Villiers’ genius drags wobbly RCB across the line

“We certainly made sure that he bats in his right position today. We certainly learnt from our mistake and he was wonderful.

“The reason we won was I think he was magnificent, Chris Morris was brilliant, (Yuzvendra Chahal) got us back in the game with his two wickets, we had a number of crucial performances but AB basically won us the game single-handedly.

“Looked like Rajasthan deserved to win and we got out of jail really.”

It was the 19th over when de Villiers exploded, smashing three successive sixes off Jaydev Unadkat, who ended up conceding 25 runs to change the complexion of the match.

Royals captain Steve Smith said it was just “serious batting” by de Villiers, who made the penultimate over look so “awful“.

“In hindsight and now in the result, yeah absolutely,” Smith said when asked if he should have bowled Jofra Archer in the 19th over.

“But look it is a tough one. I thought Jaydev bowls this cutters and stuff into the wicket and bowls really well normally to a long boundary at the leg side. It wasn’t an awful over, it was some pretty serious batting to be honest.

“There are not too many guys who can hit the ball the way AB did, under pressure, to a big side and clear the fence very easily... But hindsights are a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

The defeat was Royals’ sixth in nine games and Smith said it did hurt to lose from a winning position.

“In the last two games, we got ourselves to two positions to win the game but we were not able to do that, and that hurts. For us it is pretty clear cut now. We need to win our last five games to have a chance to make the play-offs,” he said.

On a personal note, Smith was back among the runs, scoring a 36-ball 57.

“It was nice to spend sometime in the middle, having not done much of it in 5 or 6 games.”

Royals lost two wickets and could score only four runs in the final over bowled by Chris Morris and Smith said “the last over was a bit disappointing.”

“I think we got just 3 or 4. But I thought the score we got was just about par and we thought if we bowled and fielded well, it will be hard to chase down on a pretty slow wicket,” he said.

On Robin Uthappa opening the innings, Smith said: “We wanted a bit of experience in middle. Jos is an amazing opener but he is also one of the best at the back end. He gives us a bit of that balance in the side.

“Obviously Robin has done a lot of opening and I think he has played well today.”

  Dugout videos