Mohali, May 14: How do bowlers plan to get one of the world's best batsmen Ab de Villiers out? While many are still searching for an answer, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) spinner Axar Patel's latest strategy worked last night and others might follow too.
After scoring 106/6 in their quota of overs, KXIP bowlers had the tough task of containing the big hitters of RCB - Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and De Villiers in particular.
They did a fine job as RCB were kept to 84/6 in 10 overs. Gayle (17), Kohli (19) and De Villiers (10) all fell cheaply.
Left-arm spinner Axar removed De Villiers in the 7th over of the innings when the match was nicely set up. It was not the South African's day as he struggled with his timing. He faced just 9 balls for his 10 and hit only 1 boundary. He was fresh from his superlative 133 not out against Mumbai Indians but as he had said earlier new match brings new challenge.
Patel won the Man-of-the-match award for his 2/11 (2 overs) bowling show. Later he revealed what plan he had for De Villiers.
"He (AB de Villiers) plays all around the ground. So to plan for him is easy for a spinner; one shouldn't bowl quick to him because he uses the pace of the ball," Axar told IPL's official website.
"He goes on to play a lot of innovative shots. So my plan was I should bowl to him on his stumps. Today too I bowled at his stumps so I could get him out," he added as the spinner got him caught by Beuran Hendricks at short fine-leg while attempting a swee shot.
This ploy of Axar's might work again for him and also others but De Villiers will be having his own set of plans to counter this.