Virat Kohli’s 55 runs off 46 balls in a match against Delhi Capitals has sparked a debate about the role of anchors in T20 cricket. The game is changing quickly, with more 200-plus totals being scored in this IPL season. Batters are striving to add muscle to their game to stay relevant in the shortest format. The boom or bust approach has become the need of the hour, and Kohli’s approach of “taking the game deep” was understandable considering the non-performance of the middle-order, but it potentially cost them 20 extra runs for what could have been a winning total.
RCB skipper Faf du Plessis felt that 181 was a par score, but an over of 15 or 20 runs could have probably made the difference in the game. While Kohli went about his business and collected his sixth half-century of the season, it was the fearlessness of Mahipal Lomror that allowed RCB to post 181. After his best knock of the IPL in over six seasons, the Rajasthan batter explained the team’s tactics when he and Kohli were in the middle.
“In any game, it is not easy for a new batter to hit from ball one irrespective of the wicket. It makes a huge difference if someone has played 30-40 balls compared to a new batter. That is why anchor becomes important. When a settled batter is in the middle, the chances are higher that he will get more boundaries in the end that the new batter,” said Lomror. He felt they put up a good total considering the conditions and the bowlers could have done better.
With four games left and the playoff race heating, RCB cannot afford to put a foot wrong, and going into the next game, they might be served better with an all-out approach.