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IPL 2024: ‘What RCB have done has been absolutely phenomenal’, says Sunil Gavaskar

May 22: Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar heaped praise on Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s (RCB) performance in the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 as “absolutely phenomenal”.

After reeling at the bottom of the table in the first half of the tournament, RCB made a sensational comeback as they won their last six matches to finish their league stage campaign in the final four with 14 points. In their first eight games, they only won a single game against Punjab Kings. It’s the fourth time RCB entered the IPL playoffs in the last five seasons.

Yash Dayal starred with 2-42, including taking out MS Dhoni in a seven-run final over, as RCB held their nerve to enter the IPL 2024 playoffs with a stunning 27-run win over Chennai Super Kings at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium to play Eliminator on Wednesday against Rajasthan Royals.

“What RCB have done has been absolutely phenomenal. Nothing short of phenomenal. Firstly, to believe that they can bounce back takes something special. The leading players there, Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, and other senior players, must be the ones most encouraging to the other team members.

Other team members can quickly get into a situation where they might feel we’ve lost everything,” said Gavaskar on Star Sports Cricket Live. “It’s up to the seniors, and I think they have done their job. They have done it by showing them how.

Faf and Virat have played extraordinary cricket. Rajasthan, on the other hand, have lost their last four or five matches, and they didn’t play well in their last game. So they’ve been out of practice. “Now, unless they do something special like KKR did today, despite not playing for 11 days, it could turn out to be another one-sided game tomorrow.

My fear is that it will be another one-sided game where RCB, who are playing just absolutely phenomenal cricket, will walk all over RR,” he added. Rajasthan Royals (RR) finished third in the standings with 17 points and a net run rate of +0.273. They won eight out of their 14 group matches with the last one getting washed out.

With a win in the Eliminator, the team can proceed to Qualifier 2, where they will meet the loser of Qualifier 1 for a place in the final. Meanwhile, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen shared his thoughts on the eliminator match between RCB and RR, said, “RCB is playing cricket as well as they’ve ever played.

They’ve got themselves to a situation where momentum is all in their favour. They’ve got bowlers bowling well, batters batting brilliantly, and Faf du Plessis leading them as well as he’s ever led a team. So, I find it very, very hard to think that Rajasthan are going to put up a fight tomorrow.”

“They’ve lost Jos Buttler, and Jos Buttler is such a big player. When you open with Yashasvi Jaiswal, and you know that he looks up to Jos so much, it is such a big loss. It’s actually quite sad that the England players have had to leave this tournament and they’re not here on the bigger stage.

“I’m sure the players would love to be playing here on the bigger stage in Ahmedabad and then off to Chennai to play the finals. This tournament deserves that, and it’s just unfortunate that some of the biggest players in the world are not going to be here,” Pietersen added.

The fight for Qualifier 2 will be tough as RCB, who have the momentum with them after winning six games in a row will face Royals, who are coming after four consecutive loss.



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